California could resort to using electric cars to charge its struggling power grid
Pacific Gas and Electric Company says to think of it as a “backup” energy source, like a generator.
The state of California, which has struggled to reconcile its aggressive "green energy" agenda against its unreliable and blackout-prone power grid, may have an admittedly "unconventional" solution thanks to a proposal from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E): Using electric cars to charge the power grid.
PG&E, which provides power for around 16 million California residents, sees "great potential" for EVs to act as power grid backup generators. "The grid needs those electric vehicles. We need to make it available, and it can be a huge resource," he added, per The Orange County Register.
Just the News contacted PG&E for more details. A spokesman responded by lauding the supposed benefits of "bidirectional charging."
"PG&E believes in a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle (EV) and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid," the statement to Just the News read. Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change."
The company also said tapping electric cars eliminates "the need for non-renewable resources" like fossil fuels.
The state is widely regarded as the most green energy-driven state, but it is also infamous for its rolling blackouts. In August 2020, ABC reported that hundreds of thousands of Californians briefly lost power in rolling blackouts. Many times, the state uses a diesel generator to supplement the grid during peak energy usage.
Nonetheless, PG&E’s 2030 Climate Strategy Report has a goal for the grid "to quickly and safely power at least 3 million EVs— or about 12,000 GWh of EV-related electric load." Two million of those EVs are being sought for "vehicle-grid integration (VGI) applications, allowing EVs to be a cornerstone of both electric reliability and climate resilience for PG&E customers broadly."
According to the Pacific Research Institute, California isn’t able to generate enough electricity to meet its pending EV mandate. 12,000 GWh is nearly 18% of its total renewable electricity generated in 2021.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has openly referred to his state’s power grid as having a reliability "issue" that "has to be addressed." Even though it has an abundance of oil, it still imports more electricity from outside the state than any other state in the nation because of its green agenda pledge. Data culled from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that California led the nation in power outages last year, with 142 major events.
Because the state has notoriously high energy costs—with some reportedly paying triple the providing cost—three utility companies have proposed charging residents based on income rather than energy consumption.
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