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California Wants Cars to Run on Electricity. It’s Going to Need a Much Bigger Grid

in Environment

Leaning on the hood of a shiny red electric Ford Mustang, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday to end the sale of new gas-burning cars in his state in 15 years.

Now comes the hard part.

Energy consultants and academics say converting all passenger cars and trucks to run on electricity in California could raise power demand by as much as 25%. That poses a major challenge for a state already facing periodic rolling blackouts as it rapidly transitions to renewable energy.

California will need to boost power generation, scale up its network of fast charging stations, enhance its electric grid to handle the added load and hope that battery technology continues to improve enough that millions in America’s most populous state can handle long freeway commutes to schools and offices without problems.

Continue Reading on WSJ

They lived through California’s two worst fires — and now face a future of blackouts

in Local Roundup

A windy day isn’t just a windy day anymore.

Not in Northern California, where strong gusts and tinder-dry land have fueled two of the deadliest fires in state history in the past two years.

“You just don’t look at wind the same way,” said Melissa Boutelle, whose home in Paradise burned in last year’s Camp Fire. “Now, wind says so much more.”

The winds carry words of warning — for Boutelle, who was forced from her community after living there 13 years, and also for the power company responsible for starting the blaze that tore through her town, California’s deadliest wildfire ever.

Continue Reading on Washington Post

Los Angeles could see power outages as Santa Ana winds hit Southern California

in Local Roundup

While millions in Northern California suffered through a massive power outage that began early Wednesday, residents in Southern California wondered whether they could see the same blackouts as officials deal with strong winds that could spark fires.

Southern California Edison said that, given the strong Santa Ana winds forecast for the area, power could be cut off to more than 173,000 customers in parts of eight Southland counties.

Continue Reading on La times

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