One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. As Nicholas Maduro, former bus driver and now-president of Venezuela, was giving a speech unveiling his grand socialistic plan, a curious thing occurred throughout the country—a massive blackout silenced his rhetoric. Meanwhile, back in California, there are warnings of an impending catastrophic collapse of its power grid due to the many government mandated green energy schemes that have made managing energy flow next to impossible.
What do California and Venezuela have in common? State-controlled or regulated resources.
On one hand, there is much concern by California state officials about the stability of maintaining the massive patchwork of wiring, substations and computations needed to provide electricity. At the very least, a huge infusion of capital will be necessary to mitigate the convoluted effects for having attempted to provide unstable green energy. If California cannot solve its rapidly escalating switching problems, it could soon fall prey to a total collapse its electrical grid.
California is suffering from putting green energy sources on the power grid that are inherently unstable because of unpredictability. Such schemes require extremely sophisticated switching to handle the spikes in production. Not even a socialist bureaucrat can say for certain when the wind will blow or how bright the sun will shine. A field of solar panels may be producing huge amounts of energy one moment, and almost nothing the next.
On the other hand, Venezuela nationalized (read appropriated: stole) its electrical generating plants in 2007 during the regime of the late Hugo Chavez. In a few short months, blackouts became commonplace as inept socialist bureaucrats took control of an industry they knew nothing of. To add insult to injury, incompetent Cuban advisers were brought in bringing their nation’s failures along with them. President Maduro’s solution is to implement more socialism to solve the problems created by Venezuela’s very own socialistic policies.
While Maduro has been quick to deny any responsibility for the blackouts, he has made unsubstantiated allegations that the power outages were caused by right wing opposition. However, everyone sees that the power problems come not from imaginary saboteurs but fifteen years of socialist policies, which have brought the once wealthy, resource-rich country all but to its knees. Venezuela has one of the world’s largest crude oil reserves and large rivers that feed hydroelectric facilities capable of generating over two-thirds of its power. Despite such natural wealth, they still cannot provide sufficient nor constant power to the country.
So both California and Venezuela suffer from having inept government agencies controlling something so essential as a nation’s electrical supply. The role of government is not running utilities or over regulating them. What California and Venezuela need is to rid themselves of suffocating, inefficient socialistic policies and allow the free market solve their business problems—as was done with fracking.
Some California utility officials are warning that the only guarantee to upgrading the current power grid to accommodate green power initiatives, is to ask ratepayers to pay more. How much more? There are estimates of at least $3 billion additional just to upgrade California’s grid. Such “improvements” will result in dubious net benefits for customers. While it may be said in jest that Californians could be paying $3.00 per minute to burn a 100-watt light bulb, it might not be too far off in the distant future. Then California can thank third world politics for producing third world results.