iPlug
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Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:08 am

As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.

In July, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the country to ban natural gas in new buildings, starting next year. City officials say new efficient electric appliances have lower carbon footprints than gas-powered furnaces and water heaters.



https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/74505110 ... imate-push
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Tortoisehead77
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:16 am

California purchases electricity from other states, such as Nevada and Utah, which generate power from coal.

So, by banning natural gas, Berkeley has elected to use dirty coal instead.

iPlug
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:28 am

Tortoisehead77 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:16 am
California purchases electricity from other states, such as Nevada and Utah, which generate power from coal.

So, by banning natural gas, Berkeley has elected to use dirty coal instead.
Excellent that this was brought up, but completely wrong.


First of all Berkeley gets electricity from PG&E, California's largest utility, and imports no coal sourced electricity:

PG&E-owned generation and power purchases:
Image
https://www.pge.com/pge_global/common/p ... ontent.pdf

And here are California's stats (2018 California Electrical Grid Source data):

Total System Electric Generation

Highlights comparing 2018 to 2017:
(note units are percent total system power)

-coal mix is decreasing and only 3.30% (vast majority remains imported)
-natural gas use increased after being down for 3 consecutive years, now 34.91% of the power mix
-nuclear remains nearly stable, at 9.05%
-large hydro decreased from 14.7% to 10.68% (2017 had record rainfalls within CA)
-non-large hydro renewables grew and continue to climb rapidly, continuing a long trend, with a year-over-year 2.36% increase in the share of total power mix, to a current level of 31.36%
-wind continues to grow with new accelerating gains following some years of slowing increases, now 11.46%, up from 9.4%, briefly retaking the renewable lead from solar which took the lead for the first time in 2017
-solar (1 MW and larger facilities) increased to 11.40% (10.2% last year)
-small hydro fell as with large hydro as 2017 had a temporary burst with record rainfall that winter/spring
-still, the impact of solar above is greatly underestimated as “behind the meter” (BTM) home solar is not measured as only units generating 1MW or greater are counted; “BTM residential solar generation was estimated to be 13,582 GWh, a 20 percent increase from 2017”; therefore California probably gets ~17% total system electric generation from all sources of solar PV
-California total system electric generation was down 2 percent from 2017 and a major factors cited wereenergy efficiency programs and residential installs of BTM residential solar PV systems that directly displaced utility-supplied generation.
-California's non CO2 emitting electric generation categories (nuclear, large hydroelectric, and renewables) accounted for 53 percent of its generation, compared to 56 percent in 2017. As a result, in-state generation dropped by 6 percent (11,494 GWh) to 194,842 GWh. This decrease was due, in part, to reduced generation from hydroelectric power plants as dry conditions returned to the state. Net imports increased by 6 percent (4,944 GWh) to 90,648 GWh, partially offsetting the decline.

https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/elect ... power.html
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Tortoisehead77
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:38 am

You're right. I looked it up myself just now to confirm.

Appreciate the correction.

I still see natural gas as an efficient source of power and a bridge from coal to renewable energy. With natural gas there is no transmission loss as there is with electric.

iPlug
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:12 am

Maybe a topic for another thread, and IIRC this was discussed on this forum in the past. But NG for electricity generation and burning in home for heating air and water has plenty of losses including at the wellhead and energy used to extract it. Heat pumps remain the most efficient from "wells to wheels".
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SageBrush
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:19 am

iPlug wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:12 am
Maybe a topic for another thread, and IIRC this was discussed on this forum in the past. But NG for electricity generation and burning in home for heating air and water has plenty of losses including at the wellhead and energy used to extract it. Heat pumps remain the most efficient from "wells to wheels".
By far. They are also dirt cheap to run if paired with home PV, and they both heat AND cool. The good ones are fantastic.

Furnaces also have duct losses. I think I read 30% in a typical home.
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Tortoisehead77
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:40 am

SageBrush wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:19 am
iPlug wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:12 am
Maybe a topic for another thread, and IIRC this was discussed on this forum in the past. But NG for electricity generation and burning in home for heating air and water has plenty of losses including at the wellhead and energy used to extract it. Heat pumps remain the most efficient from "wells to wheels".
By far. They are also dirt cheap to run if paired with home PV, and they both heat AND cool. The good ones are fantastic.

Furnaces also have duct losses. I think I read 30% in a typical home.
I don't have ducts. It's a direct vent heater (similar to a gas stove fireplace). Also have a tankless gas-fired hot water heater.

We also have a heat-pump, but our electric bills were $300 in the winter, so I switched to gas. Now we are at a $110 electric bill and $50 gas bill.

iPlug
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:35 am

Politics aside, California is one of the best places to pilot such endeavors.

Nearly all of our population lives in sunny mild climates where solar and heat pumps are a fantastic combination. Air sourced heat pumps run very efficiently here as subzero (freezing) winter nights are uncommon or non-existent for most of the population.

Heat pump, solar, and battery storage costs continue to fall, so this is a real world proof of concept that should spread to the rest of the U.S. and world as it becomes even more economical in those places.

Government incentives that internalize the external costs of doing otherwise will accelerate the transition.
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Nubo
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:57 am

iPlug wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:12 am
Maybe a topic for another thread, and IIRC this was discussed on this forum in the past. But NG for electricity generation and burning in home for heating air and water has plenty of losses including at the wellhead and energy used to extract it. Heat pumps remain the most efficient from "wells to wheels".
More efficient thermodynamically, but given PGE's punitive tiered electrical rate structure, it's not necessarily the best option economically.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

iPlug
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Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:50 pm

Nubo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:57 am
iPlug wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:12 am
Maybe a topic for another thread, and IIRC this was discussed on this forum in the past. But NG for electricity generation and burning in home for heating air and water has plenty of losses including at the wellhead and energy used to extract it. Heat pumps remain the most efficient from "wells to wheels".
More efficient thermodynamically, but given PGE's punitive tiered electrical rate structure, it's not necessarily the best option economically.
Agree. Plenty of problems in PG&E land. The best systems align economics with "the right thing to do".

CPUC has a major hand in this, and anything significant PG&E can do is guided by them and must be approved by them.

Would like to see the CPUC disperse generous heat pump rebates through their regulated utilities.
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