Many of you have heard me mention an “All-of-the-Above” energy portfolio as I speak about my company, California Resources Corporation, and the oil and natural gas industry. That means safely developing all our energy resources – from renewables to oil and natural gas – to support everything we do at home and at work. Just like you diversify your financial investments to maximize the return, a comprehensive energy strategy is needed to ensure that our huge demand for power is met with ample reliable, affordable and secure energy – an assortment of energy sources that includes fossil fuels, solar, wind and other means.
An example of how energy diversification works was demonstrated during the eclipse that occurred on August 21st. An article was recently published by Energy In Depth, a research, education and public outreach organization, which described how grids throughout the country remained functional. The following is an excerpt from that article:
Solar Eclipse Causes No Electrical Grid Issues, Thanks to Natural Gas
Originally Published by Energy in Depth
Solar companies and grid operators across the country spent ample time planning for last week’s solar eclipse, particularly in California and North Carolina, which dominate the country in solar output. Those efforts paid off, as consumers faced no issues, even as solar output was cut in half in California, dropping from 6,000 megawatts (MW) to 3,000 MW, and North Carolina lost 1,700 MW, due to the eclipse having totality in some locations. How did they keep the lights and air conditioning on for consumers?
As Neal Kirby, spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America tweeted, it was thanks to alternative energy sources like natural gas.
In California, natural gas and hydropower were used to offset the extreme drop in solar.
The U.S. grid’s performance is a testament to how far the solar industry has come in recent years, and to the grid operators’ ability to manage system reliability. But the real takeaway is that despite the oft-repeated activist line that the U.S. grid can run solely on renewables without traditional energy sources, an energy mix including fossil fuels is still needed on a daily basis.
Americans might not see a total eclipse every day – and won’t again until 2024 – but frequent fluctuations in power from the sun and wind are very real. The eclipse put the grid in the spotlight, but the challenges the country was monitoring are issues backup sources like natural gas help mitigate on a daily basis.
As Stephen Berberich, the president of California’s grid operator California ISO, told Fortune recently, natural gas will continue to be an important part of the state’s backup energy supply for renewables:
“The ‘electric grid of tomorrow’ will increasingly have to deal with fluctuating power supplies from the wind and sun while incorporating quick-start gas turbines during events like the upcoming eclipse.”
As natural gas and renewables increase the percentages of power they supply the grid, it is becoming even more apparent that these energy sources are complementary and will be an important and significant part of the future energy mix.
To read the full article, please click here: https://energyindepth.org/national/solar-eclipse-causes-no-electrical-grid-issues-thanks-natural-gas/
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