James L. Sweeney: Integrate western power grid to reduce emissions, energy costs (Sacramento Bee)

Published: March 3, 2017

James L. Sweeney, director of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, makes the case for Western grid integration in an op-ed published by The Sacramento Bee:

James L. Sweeney

James L. Sweeney

California has built up an excess of electricity-generation capacity in the years following the crisis of 2000-01, the Los Angeles Times recently reported. Some have sought to justify this as insurance against more shortages and blackouts.

As the author of “The California Electricity Crisis,” I understand the need to prevent a repeat of service failures. But, as the Times article correctly describes, excess generation capacity is a costly and unneeded remedy.

A far more cost-effective solution would be to fix inefficiencies of our fragmented western electric grid. This also could put an end to California’s increasing need to throw away inexpensive emissions-free energy and to rely excessively on polluting fossil-fueled power plants.

Read Sweeney’s full opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee.