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Grid Operators Warn of Shortages as More Electric Vehicles Increase Demand

U.S. electric power generation may see a serious shortfall this year as huge numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) increase power draw and operators retire nuclear, coal, and natural gas plants.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) said that more generation capacity is moving to wind and solar, but renewables aren’t keeping up with demand and traditional plants are being retired quicker than green energy can replace it.

“I am concerned about it,” MISO Chief Executive John Bear told the Wall Street Journal in a report Sunday. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource.”

The capacity shortfalls will be exacerbated by massive increases in demand as EVs with batteries as large as 118 KWh get plugged in every night. Battery-powered cars and trucks could use as much power in a single full charge as a typical U.S. home uses in about 5 days. Even if only 20% of a 100 KWh battery is used each day, that would almost double the electricity demand of the typical American home – and that’s just for a single-car household. As EVs typically get charged at night, they offset the typical low-usage time when solar plants rely on batteries to serve demand.

“The problem is that the EV fleet is not a system. It’s just a bunch of batteries on wheels that are often plugged in, often at predictable times and places, but never aggregated, organized, or managed”, Max Baumhefner, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

For decades renewables have relied on nuclear, coal, and natural gas to make up for sudden demand and periods of overcast and/or lack of wind. Government overregulation is forcing traditional plants offline faster than green generation and battery technology can replace them which makes it likely that shortages will occur this year.

We need to make sure that we have sufficient new resources in place and operational before we let some of these retirements go,” said Mark Rothleder, chief operating officer of the California Independent System Operator, which operates the state’s power grid. “Otherwise, we are putting ourselves potentially at risk of having insufficient capacity.”

California officials warned that the state could have a shortfall of almost 5,000 megawatts this year which could affect millions of people.

“The grid could be lacking anything from 1,700 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts this year. That would be likely to impact between 1 million and 4 million people in the state,” officials said in an online briefing Friday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is considering delaying the retirement of a nuclear power plant to avoid putting the state at further risk of outages.

The new warnings are at odds with predictions that EV experts offered just two years ago.

“If you look at peak generating capacity in the US and ignore any transmission and distribution bottlenecks (of which there are many), then even if every vehicle was electric, the generating capacity could handle it,” said Tom Gage, Head of Electric Drive Systems for Indi EV.

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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  1. Hey, let’s bring in more illegals so we can worry about making sure they get enough electricity too. And everything else. I’m assuming there will be a drive to get the not-so-rich people to cut down on their energy use so those with huge mansions with pools, lit tennis courts, and several electric motor vehicles have enough to keep the many rooms in their mansions lit, keep them warm/cool, pools heated, tennis courts lit at night, and their EVs running when they want them to. Our governments demand larger and larger homes be built so how do people get around that? They can’t. Now we have to worry about whether we can keep these expensive battery run cars moving about? Why must we? And ol’ joe wants more highways built for more of the people he wants to bring in? Huh? What for? In years down the road there won’t be any cars to use them. One – not everyone can afford them. Two – why make more trouble for ourselves? Okay, lets bring more people into our country so we can play big poppa and momma and give them everything they have come here for. Then what? How do you get blood from a rock? Stop banging our heads against that rock, it won’t help. Stop this foolishness. There are ways to “save our planet” but we don’t have to be so extreme about it that we end of ending our planet. What good will it be without people?

  2. I’m curious as to how much a tank of electricity costs. The democrats make it sound like it is free. Pete Buttercheeks says to just go buy a $70,000 electric car if you can’t afford gasoline. That’s the best the democrats can come up with. Come November we need to tell them how we feel about that.

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