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Person sitting in a California restaurant lit by candlelight during one of PG&E's shut-offs. Photo: Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP via Getty Images

One side effect of California utility PG&E shutting off power to roughly 2 million people to deter wildfires: it's effectively a free ad for distributed generation options.

Why it matters: Distributed energy is an important part of creating more resilient power systems at a time when climate change is putting more stress on grids.

  • Greentech Media points out that this isn't lost on California regulators, who "have been looking to distributed energy resources as part of the solution to the state's wildfire-power grid challenge."

Driving the news: The Twitter feed of Sunrun, the country's top residential solar provider is using the blackout to market its products.

  • "#Blackouts are happening now all across #California. Take back control of your home's #energy with Sunrun's Brightbox #solar #battery service and stay powered through the next #outage."
  • It links to a page where customers can explore the purchase of their solar and battery systems. Sunrun even has a separate page about the PG&E shut-offs that notes wildfires are now year-round events in California.

The big picture: They're not the only distributed energy provider that stands to gain.

  • "Suppliers of backup, diesel-fired generators, solar panels, batteries and fuel cells alike see a sales opportunity in the massive power shutoffs rolling out across the San Francisco Bay Area," Bloomberg reports.
  • Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables' analyst Ravi Manghani told Greentech that this week's blackouts mean "the market should see an uptick in battery storage sales."

What they're saying: A Fast Company story last night on the PG&E outages quotes Christopher Burgess of the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute making the case for "community microgrids" that combine solar and batteries.

  • “I could definitely see a future where the transmission lines are just so long and so problematic, and it gets more and more dry due to climate change, and those things just become so much of a vulnerability that it’s actually better just to ‘island off’ certain communities,” he said.

Go deeper: Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."