by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow
and Tom Tanton, E&E Legal’s Director of Science and Technology Assessment
As Appearing in Flash Report
The announcement last week from PG&E that it was closing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, rudely came on the same day there were rolling blackouts in Los Angeles amidst sweltering temperatures.
With the likelihood of more blackouts all summer in California, why is the state facing the closure of a clean energy nuclear power plant? How can PG&E say with a straight face they will replace it with renewable energy?
“In 2015, all wind energy in California only produced 12 billion kWhs,” scientist James Conca said in an interview. “The two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors produce 17 billion kWhs every year, and will for the next 20 years if not prematurely closed for political reasons.”
Not only will closure of Diablo Canyon drive direct increases in natural gas use in natural gas fired generation, it will be further increased due to the need for backup and balancing the volatile wind and solar output. California cannot rely on renewable energy without natural gas.