According to writers for the Industry Standard, emergency efforts to increase California’s power supplies will probably not take effect before summer when demand for power peaks in that state. Some tech firms have decided to expand or relocate outside the state. Others are preparing for the worst by purchasing diesel generators, which they may not be allowed to use because of air quality regulations. Ironically, concern for the environment was often cited as a reason for not building power plants in the past, though the shortage has already led to a lowering of river levels in the US Northwest to generate hydroelectric power for California. Now authorities worry that the emergency measures, aggravated by mishandled deregulation, will seriously hurt salmon and other wildlife populations effected by river water levels.
The writers warn, “many California companies remain in denial.” There may be wry solace, however, in their analysis that the same situation seems to exist in New York and other New England states that “teeter only a power surge away from summer shortages and higher prices.”
In related news, the Taiwanese government has reversed its decision to cancel construction of the island’s fourth nuclear power plant, supported by the tech industry.