Utility Dive highlights the importance of moving away from natural gas reliance in California, quoting Sarah Steinberg and Brian Turner on the importance of demand-side management, batteries, hydro storage, and more.
As California reels from the impact of high natural gas prices this winter – as well as the ripple effects on the electricity sector – some experts are urging policy-makers to focus on reducing the state’s dependence on natural gas in the first place.
Gas prices in the West touched their highest annual point in the second half of December and began to subside in January, although still at a relatively high level. CAISO pointed to several reasons for that in its recent report: colder than usual temperatures in the West and Canada pushed up gas demand; there were lower gas storage inventories than usual – in part because of the higher gas usage during the heatwave California experienced last summer; as well as California’s lack of local gas supply and position at the end of the interstate pipeline system.
Demand-side management is one of the best short-term policies that policymakers and consumers have at their fingertips to mitigate the impact of gas and electricity price swings, according to Brian Turner, policy director, Western states, with Advanced Energy United. This can include adjusting electricity use through consumer behavior, but also using advanced energy devices.