In August, California’s grid operators shut off power for millions of residents during a historic heat wave.

The blackouts caused confusion and outrage in the state. People were looking for someone or something to blame: an agency, a utility or even a technology like renewables.

We now know what happened. The cause was detailed in a lengthy, multi-agency investigation. It was a unique combination of factors, including a lack of preparation for extreme events. So will this hurt California’s decarbonization efforts?

“I do not think it changes the decarbonization goals. I think, if anything, it calls for the acceleration of moving toward a system that is more resilient, that is decarbonized,” says Amisha Rai, managing director at Advanced Energy Economy.

So if California’s blackouts accelerate clean-energy efforts further, how can we apply lessons from this summer? That’s what we’re covering in this episode, produced in collaboration with Wärtsilä. 

“It is very important to figure out a practical and realistic plan. I think California is working very hard on it. Without the plan, you will end up in ad hoc situations,” says Jussi Heikkinen, director of growth and development for the Americas at Wärtsilä.

In this episode, Jussi will outline all the optimal scenarios for decarbonizing California’s grid — even while managing the threat of extreme events.

Wärtsilä creates smart, flexible power technologies to enable a cleaner grid and put the world on a path to 100% renewable energy. Read the “Path to 100% for California” report discussed in this episode.