California’s politicians like to dream big — projects that change the future of the state.  Now they are dreaming of huge electricity storage from renewable energy sources such as sunlight.  The problem, of course, is that such storage is expensive, far more costly than natural gas generation plants that are used today for supplementary energy.  So, why not build more gas plants?  They would not be renewable energy, although the nation is awash in available gas. 

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big.  The question is how the public will respond.  In this case, there is a good chance that the public will pay more for building and running storage plants.  That will not go over well.  There is an argument that the public often doesn’t understand what is for its own good.  Steve Jobs, for example, disdained customer surveys as did Henry Ford.  However, in the case of power plants, the public will vote on the outcome, and it will take a good deal of publicity and ground-pounding PR to get them to accept higher monthly bills.  Are politicians ready to do that?

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