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Thread: Berkeley bans natural gas in new homes

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Herman View Post
    CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

    a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA...
    less than 1/2 mile from where all our retirement toys are stored is the Lakeside Power Plant (Utah), and as I understand it, most of the power generated ends up in California.
    This is a wikipedia pic of the plant circa 2008 when 'first finished':
    lpp1.jpg

    But a couple years later, *I believe* because selling power to CA was so lucrative, they built its twin sister,
    left is the twin, right is the original. (pic from our boat harbor)
    lpp2.jpg

    I have nothing against gas fired plants, other than it's big to look at, this plant puffs some steam out once in awhile, I don't think it's pollution output could even be measured. However, and I don't mean this in any way political, but it's heat output CAN be measured, and the simple fact is, that heat is contributing... Windmills, dams and solar panel don't generate heat. And I'll leave it at that

    >edit< I just noticed the Wiki pic IS of both plants, the Wiki shot is extremely 'zoomed in', squashing the field of view. Doesn't look like it but the side facing the camera is right next to a road, maybe 100' away...
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 08-29-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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  2. #17
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    Not sure the technology is there yet.

    Even in California, natural gas appears to be providing more power than solar, wind, and hydro combined.

    https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/el...tem_power.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    FYI there is one coal fired power plant in the entire state of California a 6 1/2 hour drive from Berkeley built in 1978 and it produces 0.2% of the electrical capacity. Also California is phasing out gas fired power plants as they cannot compete with solar and wind. Yes there are some under construction but there are more retirements than new construction.
    https://archinect.com/news/article/1...oming-obsolete
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1Q12C9

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Nuckles View Post
    Setting aside the unfounded commentary on the mind-set of the people who passed the ordinance, let's look at the facts. Berkeley has opted in to a source of electric power that is 100% carbon-free, so they are not getting their electricity from your fossil fuel plants: cite. As a city, Berkeley does not have the authority to change California's sources of power, much less the energy policy of the United States. It is doing what it can within those limits to fight climate change. You can call these people naive, but I call them realistic. I'd call them farsighted, but it doesn't take much in the way of foresight to see that we need to change our ways to address the coming crisis.

    Note to the moderators: if the discussion up to this point was not political and prohibited, I don't see how my post can be. Just some necessary factual corrective.
    i was replying specifically to the gentleman claiming .2 % of CA electricity was from their 1 Coal power plant. Which is just an outright misrepresentation of facts.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Not sure the technology is there yet.

    Even in California, natural gas appears to be providing more power than solar, wind, and hydro combined.

    https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/el...tem_power.html
    Check your calculator, California power mix large hydro + small hydro + wind +solar = 35.15 vs nat gas = 34.91 and all non fossil fuel combined = 51%. Plus wind and solar is expanding while nat gas is shrinking and it's not just the environmental concern, wind and solar have become cheaper than gas. I think the technology is here, what's holding it back is the billions invested in obsolete technology.
    Last edited by Doug Garson; 08-29-2019 at 1:26 PM.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Herman View Post
    CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

    a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA.

    anything to outsource the bad stuff, and then feel all high and mighty when you say you only have 1 coal plant left in the state, then turn around and crap on all the people and industry that actually supplies your standard of living.
    Check your math, 34.91% is not over 35%. I agree California have always been a NIMBY state but when it comes to climate change I think they are on the right side of the issue. Yes Wyoming primarily generates electricity from coal but there are signs that is changing and the reason is not just environmental it's economics.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/artic...y-alternatives

  6. #21
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    What about the theory of Hydrogen made for renewable power? How will that get shipped through non existent pipes?
    I will also add they are not considering the carbon impact of replacing a electric heat pump every few decades. My floor furnace was made in 1948 and still works fine. of course the efficiency is no as high as newer models that require elctricity. In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.
    Bill D.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 08-29-2019 at 2:15 PM.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    What about the theory of Hydrogen made for renewable power? How will that get shipped through non existent pipes?
    I will also add they are not considering the carbon impact of replacing a electric heat pump every few decades. My floor furnace was made in 1948 and still works fine. of course the efficiency is no as high as newer models that require electricity. In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.
    Bill D.
    Hydrogen has a number of issues, one of which is efficiency of conversions.

    Let's start with 100 units of electric power, produced by some renewable means (solar, wind, etc.) and use that to do electrolysis of water. The energy contained in the hydrogen you get from that electrolysis is about 70% of the input energy, so now you have 70 units of energy.

    Then, you get to one of the major problems - how to transport the hydrogen. You either have to have a way of producing hydrogen close to where it's going to be consumed or you have to compress it and transport it. Pipeline is the cheapest but there not much hydrogen pipeline. Compressing it and transporting it by truck is expensive. Hydrogen has the lowest amount of energy per volume of fuels. But let's be generous and assume that it takes 10% of the energy to compress and transport it. That gets us to 67.5 units of energy.

    Then, the hydrogen is put into a fuel cell which is about 60% efficient, and that gets us 40.5 units of energy to go into the motors on the car. The motors are about 90% so we get to use about 34.5% of the energy we started with.

    Looking at an electric battery car, let's start with the same 100 units of electric power, produced from renewable sources.
    Transporting that energy to the charging station uses about 5% of the energy, which gets us to 95 units of energy.

    A battery is about 90% efficient so the power to the electric motors is 85.5 units of energy.
    The motors are about 90% efficient so the power we get from that 100 original units of energy is about 77 units.

    Due to the losses in producing and using the energy from hydrogen, hydrogen is likely to be an expensive fuel if not heavily subsidized.

    Mike

    [One other thing is that a battery powered car can recover some of the expended energy when the car slows down, or the car is going downhill. There's no reasonable way to recover that energy when a fuel cell is used.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 08-29-2019 at 3:43 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    So if other states decide to lower the amount of electric to Cali and send it to other states what would be Cali plan. They are making it hard to deal with but that is just my opinion
    Don't know if the other states can or would decide to lower electrical sales to California. My understanding is electricity is a commodity sold on the open market mainly by private for profit companies. What would their incentive be to reduce sales to California? How is California making it hard for electrical producers to deal with them?

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Hydrogen has a number of issues, one of which is efficiency of conversions.

    Let's start with 100 units of electric power, produced by some renewable means (solar, wind, etc.) and use that to do electrolysis of water. The energy contained in the hydrogen you get from that electrolysis is about 70% of the input energy, so now you have 70 units of energy.

    Then, you get to one of the major problems - how to transport the hydrogen. You either have to have a way of producing hydrogen close to where it's going to be consumed or you have to compress it and transport it. Pipeline is the cheapest but there not much hydrogen pipeline. Compressing it and transporting it by truck is expensive. Hydrogen has the lowest amount of energy per volume of fuels. But let's be generous and assume that it takes 10% of the energy to compress and transport it. That gets us to 67.5 units of energy.

    Then, the hydrogen is put into a fuel cell which is about 60% efficient, and that gets us 40.5 units of energy to go into the motors on the car. The motors are about 90% so we get to use about 34.5% of the energy we started with.

    Looking at an electric battery car, let's start with the same 100 units of electric power, produced from renewable sources.
    Transporting that energy to the charging station uses about 5% of the energy, which gets us to 95 units of energy.

    A battery is about 90% efficient so the power to the electric motors is 85.5 units of energy.
    The motors are about 90% efficient so the power we get from that 100 original units of energy is about 77 units.

    Due to the losses in producing and using the energy from hydrogen, hydrogen is likely to be an expensive fuel if not heavily subsidized.

    Mike

    [One other thing is that a battery powered car can recover some of the expended energy when the car slows down, or the car is going downhill. There's no reasonable way to recover that energy when a fuel cell is used.]
    Mike, pretty good synopsis of the hydrogen issue. I think of hydrogen as a energy storage medium not a fuel like gas or oil. The competition for hydrogen is battery storage and as batteries get better and better it's harder and harder for hydrogen to compete. It would be a challenge to think of a situation where hydrogen has an advantage over battery storage. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

  10. #25
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    When we built our new house which is an accesory dwelling unit off of our daughters house, we found that routing gas to our house would be $10,000. Since we were going heat pump, all we wanted gas for was the stove. Not worth it. I had been wanting to try induction anyway and we will never look back.

    Cons: We did have to replace some of our cookware. The cast iron worked but the aluminum clad stuff had to go.

    Pros:
    -- gas like control only better. I had to use simmer plates to get a decent simmer with gas. Turn off the burner and it's off just like gas.
    -- induction heats faster than gas
    -- the cooktop doesn't get as hot as with other glass cooktops. It does get hot because the pan radiates heat back. But this is not a technology where the cooktop gets really hot and imparts some of that heat to the pan.

    An example: I made chocolate pudding (the cook kind) for my grandson. I looked at the clock as I walked to the fridge to get the milk (when I started). Then I checked the time when the pudding was in the fridge and the pan was clean. Total elapsed time was 9 minutes. Heating the two cups of milk was about 2 minutes of that.

    My point here is that going all electric doesn't involve much sacrifice.

  11. #26
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    Wow. I thought natural gas was more efficient than electric and therefore better overall for the environment. Not saying Iím right, but thatís what I thought. Locally we donít have natural gas but we have LPG and I converted my stove and water heater to LPG and am saving over $100 a month with that and LED bulbs. (Note: we have the second highest electric rate in the world so for me itís a bigger cost savings). Our location burns diesel for power and recently converted to LPG. My opinion is that creating heat at the source from LPG is better than the power company converting it to electricity and then me concerting the electricity into heat.

    BTW- just got a quote to go solar off the grid and ditch the power company except for backup.

  12. #27
    My problem with all-electric is that, around here at least, the power company already wants us all to let them put power limiters on our lines that THEY control. Supposed to help stop brown-outs during hot days when everyone's AC is on full-blast. NEWS FLASH, I'm PAYING you for the electricity I need to keep my house cool, I DON'T want LESS electricity on hot days, I want MORE!

    And for reference, with my home business power usage, my monthly average power use is around 3300kw, while my neighbor's average is about 600kw. I can't have my power dropped and keep working all day.

    What's scary is, if they can't supply our area's power needs NOW without brownout protections in place, what if everyone around here just suddenly decided to go all-electric? And those Tesla's and Prius's don't charge themselves...
    ========================================
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    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    My problem with all-electric is that, around here at least, the power company already wants us all to let them put power limiters on our lines that THEY control. Supposed to help stop brown-outs during hot days when everyone's AC is on full-blast. NEWS FLASH, I'm PAYING you for the electricity I need to keep my house cool, I DON'T want LESS electricity on hot days, I want MORE!

    And for reference, with my home business power usage, my monthly average power use is around 3300kw, while my neighbor's average is about 600kw. I can't have my power dropped and keep working all day.

    What's scary is, if they can't supply our area's power needs NOW without brownout protections in place, what if everyone around here just suddenly decided to go all-electric? And those Tesla's and Prius's don't charge themselves...
    The thing about electric cars charged at home is that they're generally charged overnight when electricity demand is significantly lower. Most electric companies have rates that strongly encourage you to charge at night.

    The problem for electric companies is that they have to install generating and transmission capacity for the peak demand. At night, demand is low. If they can spread out the demand, such as charging electric cars at night, they become more efficient.

    Mike

    [And just a side note - homes that install solar help the electric company by either supplying power back to the grid, or at least reducing or eliminating the power taken from the grid by that home during the hottest part of the day. Solar on the home is a way of helping the power company smooth out their demand problem.]

    [The power company can build generating and transmission systems that are capable of supplying all the power you'd want on the days of the highest demand. But a lot of that generating and transmission capability would be wasted most of the year. And if they did do that, you (the customer) would have to pay more for your electricity all year long to support that extra capacity. The power company uses those limiting systems to reduce your power costs.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 08-29-2019 at 10:33 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    Wow. I thought natural gas was more efficient than electric and therefore better overall for the environment. Not saying Iím right, but thatís what I thought. Locally we donít have natural gas but we have LPG and I converted my stove and water heater to LPG and am saving over $100 a month with that and LED bulbs. (Note: we have the second highest electric rate in the world so for me itís a bigger cost savings). Our location burns diesel for power and recently converted to LPG. My opinion is that creating heat at the source from LPG is better than the power company converting it to electricity and then me concerting the electricity into heat.

    BTW- just got a quote to go solar off the grid and ditch the power company except for backup.
    I'm always amazed when I hear that islands like the US Virgin Islands don't already generate the majority of their electricity from wind and solar. I believe they are in the process of getting their by 2025.
    https://www.energy.gov/eere/technolo...virgin-islands

  15. #30
    The biggest advantage (other than cost) to a gas turbine generated electricity is they can be brought on line in just a few a seconds. A coal fired plant has to be running 24/7/365.

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