It has been said time and again that even without shifting to EVS electric stoves electric everything, America’s power grid, especially in blackout-prone California) is insufficient.
It has been said time and again that replacing thousands of miles of hollow oil and gas pipelines with thousands of miles of copper-filled or aluminum-filled electrical lines will require many many tons of metal (difficult to obtain at any price given our anti-mining laws.)
It appears that in the mad rush to throw money at windmills,
(and solar panels and the cars they will run) we have seriously neglected the kilotons of ultra thin, fraying outdated, and poorly-connected wires that connect them.
According to this article that politically-motivated pretend blindness has now had deadly consequences.
From the article
Four years ago, the utility said it needed to do more to prevent its power lines from emitting sparks. It made little progress, focusing on a shift to clean energy.
By Katherine Blunt, Dan Frosch, and Jim Carlton
Aug. 16, 2023
During the 2019 wildfire season, one of the worst Maui had ever seen, Hawaiian Electric concluded that it needed to do far more to prevent its power lines from emitting sparks.
The utility examined California’s plans to reduce fires ignited by power lines, started flying drones over its territory and vowed to take steps to protect its equipment and its customers from the threat of fire.
Nearly four years later, the company has completed little such work. Between 2019 and 2022, it invested less than $245,000 on wildfire-specific projects on the island, regulatory filings show. It didn’t seek state approval to raise rates to pay for broad wildfire-safety improvements until 2022, and has yet to receive it.
Now, the company is facing scrutiny, litigation and a financial crisis over indications that its power lines might have played a role in igniting the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. The blaze has caused more than 100 deaths, destroyed the historic town of Lahaina and resulted in an estimated billions of dollars in damage.
The fire’s cause hasn’t been determined, but mounting evidence suggests the utility’s equipment was involved. One video taken by a resident shows a downed power line igniting dry grass along a road near Lahaina.