Letter writer wrong about power grid problem

March 10, 2023

The March 7 Gazette carried a letter to the editor titled "Power grid story should open eyes," but it was full of bad thinking. That letter writer tried to amplify a prior Gazette article by Melissa Steele, in which she asked how our power grid will handle the demand from electric car charging. Her question was fair and legitimate, but the letter writer was neither fair nor legitimate. 

There are two objective issues here: First, it is proven that renewable energy really is cheaper than fossil energy; second, climate change is likely to have an epic bad effect on this planet, and polls show that most of the world knows this. 

Del LeBarron, in the middle of his letter, wrote this conditional phrase: "Leaving aside environmental and economic considerations ..." Right there he sets up a kangaroo court that will make his conclusions biased and invalid.

LeBarron's next sentence said that no one has yet shown a large-scale renewable demonstration project. This shows a vast ignorance of reality. Wikipedia has an entry under the title "100% renewable energy" and lists dozens of countries and many localities – some in the USA – that are already, right now being supplied 100% by renewable energy. I have read about plans and projects for continued future expansion of renewables to eventually take factories, steel mills and mining operations completely off fossil energy sources. The Wikipedia entry also explained that the only obstruction to this progress is political and based on dogmatic ideology.

I don't know why people are complaining about how electric car charging could cause overloads on the grid when overloads from the higher electricity demand from all the new housing and businesses going up in this area are also possible. Heat pumps, hot water heaters, heat pump backup resistance heaters, clothes driers, kitchen cooktops, toasters, to name a few, are all kilowatt to multi-killowatt loads. Office lighting and refrigerators, and lighting in stores and restaurants all add up more than you might think too. 

LeBarron's letter referenced the PJM Interconnection study in a way as if to say there will not be enough electricity to charge electric cars and run everything else. Did anyone think that maybe it was possible that the study was done for the purpose of kicking some people in the pants to get going a little faster on planning for increased loads instead of the study saying that we can charge electric cars or run everything else, but not both? 

Arthur E. Sowers


  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number and address for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. Letters should be responsive to issues addressed in the Cape Gazette rather than content from other publications or media. Only one letter per author will be published every 30 days. Letters restating information and opinions already offered by the same author will not be used. Letters must focus on issues of general, local concern, not personalities or specific businesses.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter