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Can California homes and businesses quit natural gas? Some say yes

San Francisco Chronicle

To meet its aggressive goals for fighting climate change, California wants to wean millions of homes and businesses in the state off natural gas....

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on February 19, 2019

"It outlines strategies such as the electrification of space and water heaters. Fossil fuels such as natural gas, when used to heat and light buildings, pump carbon into the air, while renewable energy sources do not."

The transparency of this sales gimmick for gas would be funny, if so many people wouldn't fall for it. Most will, because they don't know that A) gas generates more than twice as much electricity as all of California's non-hydro renewables combined - and B) due to a predictable phenomenon known as "nighttime" - when solar is useless, and 300,000+ Californians are charging their electric cars - there is no credible scenario for powering California reliably with >50% renewable energy - ever.

  1. Which is more efficient, electric heating or gas? "Because of the heavy usage of dirty fossil fuels in electricity generation, there’s not a lot of difference between using natural gas and electricity for home heating in terms of environmental impact."
  2. Which is more efficient, a gas or electric stove? "The clear winner in the energy efficiency battle between gas and electric is gas. It takes about three times as much energy to produce and deliver electricity to your stove."
  3. What about that water heater? "Natural gas and propane heaters have an emissions range between 609 and 739 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh). Electric water heaters served by GRE, in contrast, have an annual emissions rate of 1,607 pounds per MWh."

Thus, by electrifying buildings and using primarily gas-fired electricity, Chevron and Shell will be able to sell even more fossil fuel than before.

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