State missed chance to fix energy problems
Among the most frequently cited factors for rising demand is that state residents are no longer following the strict conservation habits adopted during the 2000-01 power crisis. Those conservation efforts, urged upon Californians as a civic duty, sent demand for power down as much as 14 percent at times, according to the California Energy Commission.
At one point, said Claudia Chandler, a commission spokeswoman, conservation was saving 5,500 megawatts, or the equivalent of about 10 modern power plants...
Another factor contributing to rising demand is a resurgent economy.
To San Francisco:
Several panelists repeated warnings that Southern California could face power shortages again this summer but said the state is trying to prevent that by speeding up construction of near-finished power plants and keeping older ones running.
Paul Clanon, deputy executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission, described the crisis as the work of companies manipulating a flawed market poorly designed by state officials. He included himself in that list.
"It was manipulation by those (companies)," he said. "Are they to blame? Yes. Are the people who set up the market to blame? Yes."
Indeed, building electricity infrastructure--from new generation to the LNG receiving terminals that will fuel these power plants--is an important step to averting a future energy crisis in California.