Image of fire very close to homes in California.

California crisis of fires, blackouts decades in the making

Ted Kury

“The utility that serves more than 5 million electrical customers in one of the world’s most technologically advanced areas is now faced again and again with a no-win decision: risk starting catastrophic deadly wildfires, or turn off the lights and immiserate millions of paying customers. 

Pacific Gas & Electric is in bankruptcy, facing $30 billion in liabilities, billions more in needed upgrades to its system and an uncertain path to safely providing reliable power to a vast portion of California.

How that came to be is a story not of a single villain but of systemic failure by the utility’s management, the regulators who oversee it and the politicians who let it all happen. It’s a story of climate change, a housing crisis and an aging power system that, like much of the U.S. infrastructure, has fallen into disrepair,” writes the Chicago Tribune. 

Public Utility Research Center Director of Energy Studies Dr. Ted Kury comments on how PG&E might solve its current crisis through grid hardening. See what he had to say from the Associated Press