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California's Energy Crisis,
March 26, 2001 1:14 PM   Subscribe

California's Energy Crisis, minute by minute. Interesting to watch, even when you feel that we're all over-reacting a bit.
posted by gazould (18 comments total)

 
if they aren't doing it right now, i wonder how long it will take for Vegas to start betting on this.
posted by jonny rook at 1:23 PM on March 26, 2001


hmm, let's see here...(switch) nope.
posted by brian at 1:45 PM on March 26, 2001


Amazing how closely the actual and forecasted power usages match (red vs. blue lines). Also, what's up with that huge spike around 7pm? Is that just from people having to turn on their lights once it gets dark?
posted by Potsy at 2:10 PM on March 26, 2001


It's the combination of darkness setting in, and of people coming home from work.

There have also been days, especially back in January, when the red (actual) curve was significantly below the blue (projected) curve. Either people were more actively conserving back then, or the Calif. ISO has started taking such savings into account.
posted by aurelian at 2:46 PM on March 26, 2001


There's a point in today's chart where the red line goes over the blue. That was about when the power flipped off for half a second at my office. I wonder what was actually happening on the grid. All our UPS's emitted a "half a beep". (All Monty Python fans now sing... "eric the half a bee(p)".)
posted by girlhacker at 4:21 PM on March 26, 2001


...actually, I was thinking of "the machine that goes PING!"
posted by dogwelder at 5:13 PM on March 26, 2001


It's obvious that the whole power crisis out there (I'm here in NYC) is a fabricated crisis. It's under 70 degrees and there's not enough electricity? What will you guys do in the summer when it's 85 or 90? I would imagine power consumption must close to double. I would buy a BIG hand fan an solar cells for a laptop. What idiocy!
posted by ParisParamus at 5:33 PM on March 26, 2001


We (San Jose area) had a rolling blackout or two last summer and this summer is looking even bleaker. The "fabricated crisis" topic is complex. I'm not sure I can successfully argue either side of it. (There are probably metafilter threads that have discussed this before.) Libertarians blame the government for messing up the deregulation. We are in a market that some claim is deregulated but that still has price controls. There are power plants lying idle because they can not make money producing electricity. Others blame PG&E for terrible business practices. And I'm sure some people are blaming everyone for poor planning. The SJ Mercury News did a special report on how we ended up here (Nov 2000). Their point of view: "while deregulation was sold to the public as a change that would benefit all electricity consumers -- big and small -- the basic elements of the plan were crafted primarily to benefit large industrial users and the utilities." What I do know is that when I look at all the cars crowding the highways, high density housing going up on old orchards, mansions rising on the hills, industrial parks crawling into all corners, I can certainly believe that the power structure was not able to keep up with Silicon Valley's growth.
posted by girlhacker at 6:57 PM on March 26, 2001


What has changed in the last year to make things worse?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:32 PM on March 26, 2001


Well, here are some background stories:

Summer Started It All
Genesis Of A Crisis
PG&E Missteps

This article I found particularly interesting:
Soaring Electric Use More Fiction Than Fact
Chronicle investigation finds power companies manipulate data to excuse their towering rates
posted by fooljay at 5:25 AM on March 27, 2001


It's obvious that the whole power crisis out there (I'm here in NYC) is a fabricated crisis. It's under 70 degrees and there's not enough electricity?

I suggest you check what the temperatures were last week when these blackouts hit rather than just saying what you think they were. Also, San Francisco is not California.
posted by aaron at 10:11 AM on March 27, 2001



Although I used the work "fabricated," the more accurate one would be "artificial", i.e., political in origin, rather than technical/material. I'm fairly familiar with the weather on the West Coast. Power usage in California, particularly north of Los Angeles must rise significantly from March to August.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2001


Although I used the work "fabricated," the more accurate one would be "artificial", i.e., political in origin, rather than technical/material. I'm fairly familiar with the weather on the West Coast. Power usage in California, particularly north of Los Angeles must rise significantly from March to August.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2001


Although I used the work "fabricated," the more accurate one would be "artificial", i.e., political in origin, rather than technical/material. I'm fairly familiar with the weather on the West Coast. Power usage in California, particularly north of Los Angeles must rise significantly from March to August.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2001


Say again?
posted by rodii at 11:29 AM on March 27, 2001


Yeah, if you're going to post multiple times, at least fix the obvious typo in the first sentence on the second try! ;)
posted by kindall at 12:33 PM on March 27, 2001


Sorry. It's hard to practice law and post perfectly. I am ashamed.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:12 PM on March 27, 2001


Well, the CA electricity rates have been voted up 46%. People are claiming they won't be able to afford food and electricity and some businesses say they'll need to close. I wonder what would happen if there were no government set price rates. Would it be worse or better? I guess I am hoping everyone will learn how to conserve resources. I know it's hard for some families to even get basic things done without money for electricity, but I know there's a lot of waste going on too. The previous pricing didn't give people cause to think about every switch they threw on.
posted by girlhacker at 2:34 PM on March 27, 2001


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