Diesel generators are necessary to maintain the electrical system and mitigate the potentially disastrous effects of outages.
By Allen Schaeffer, Frederick, Maryland
Allen Schaeffer is the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
Re “Clear the air of diesel generators that power California’s shadow grid”; Commentary, Oct. 6, 2021
Recent alarmist commentaries based on an 18-month-old study condemn utility regulators and misrepresent the role that diesel generators play in shoring up California‘s power grid. With the study’s noted limitations such as “CO2 values reflect orders of magnitude approximations,” the claims made about diesel generators are questionable.
The diesel Industry is proud of the role it plays in securitizing the engine of society, safeguarding critical systems and mitigating the loss of life that can happen when these systems fail.
Due to cost, reliability, availability and significant operational limitations of other options, diesel generators remain the gold standard necessary to maintain the electrical system and mitigate the potentially disastrous effects of outages. Tremendous gains in efficiency, adoption of state-of-the-art emissions technologies drastically reduce impacts when the units are operating.
The recent growth in back-up generators is the direct result of society’s eroding confidence in the capabilities of the grid, all exacerbated by inconsistencies in energy policy and the available options to achieve policy goals while maintaining a reliable and affordable system. Many Californians are benefitting from these back-up power systems, not complaining about them.