In California and many other progressive jurisdictions, there is a push to « electrify everything » as the primary strategy to decarbonize the energy and transportation sectors. While this perspective is common among sustainability minded people, including myself, it’s also worth asking tough questions about resiliency and the wisdom of relying on an electrical system that is starting to crumble in certain places like California.
Here in California the power is now regularly shut down by the state’s largest utility, investor-owned PG&E, to mitigate wildfire risk when high wind patterns suggest preemptive actions are necessary to avoid loss of life and property. Aside from the criticism aimed at PG&E for doing these « public safety power shutoffs » (PSPS) there is room to ask whether it is wise to rely on electricity for all energy needs in an ideal system. How can we ensure resiliency of power supply?
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