California Stuck With an Expensive Overabundance of Energy Facilities

The Los Angeles Times uncovers a state with a lot more energy that it needs, which has regulators explaining their decisions residents and businesses opening their wallets.

1 minute read

February 6, 2017, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Palm Springs

Nikolas_jkd / Shutterstock

Ivan Penn and Ryan Menezes report on the state of California's energy infrastructure planning. The premise of the article: The state is using less energy, and even shutting down unnecessary facilities, but it also continues to approve new electricity facilities.

California has a big — and growing — glut of power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus.

Those extra facilities and surplus capacity add up to higher bills for Californians: "residential and business customers together pay $6.8 billion more for power than they did [in 2008]," according to Penn and Menezes, despite the fact that they also use 2.6 percent less energy since then.

The article is of feature length, breadth, and depth, with a lot more detail on the politics of energy in California. Also included is an interactive graphic illustrating some of the key points for understanding California's current energy portfolio.

Monday, February 6, 2017 in The Los Angeles Times

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