This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.

Andrew Burger's picture
Man Friday Energy Ventures

I've worked a pretty diverse range of jobs around the world over the years. I feel fortunate to have found vital, satisfying work, and a career reporting, editing and researching developments in...

  • Member since 2015
  • 490 items added with 538,410 views
  • Aug 15, 2019
  • 1074 views

The city of Berkeley, California has been at the leading edge of sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially liberal, progressive policy reform since the modern environmental movement started. Now it's the first city in the US to ban natural gas connections in new buildings and homes, according to a local news report. 

Charles Koch Institute almunus Daniel Turner sees the new law as just the latest in a long line of misdirected policy initiatives on the city's part. 

“Berkeley’s new law hurts homeowners both by depriving them of freedom and by forcing them to use more expensive alternatives, notably electric stoves and heating,” Turner wrote in a Fox News Op-Ed titled “California’s Latest Descent Into Liberal Madness.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists has a different view. “This isn’t just about preventing climate change. It’s also about saving people money and improving indoor air quality,” the news report quoted Mark Specht, Energy Analyst for the Union.

Specht points out that a recent analysis that shows that new, all-electric homes end up saving homeowners money in comparison to new homes built with natural gas.” Sprecht also noted that nearly 27% of Berkeley’s greenhouse gas emissions come from natural gas use in buildings. 

Discussions
Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 15, 2019

Andrew, from an emissions standpoint space heating and cooking are, hands-down, more efficient with gas than by using electricity generated by gas turbines 40 miles away..

Fortunately, Diablo Canyon Power Plant is providing 22% of Berkeley's carbon-free electricity, and nearly all of it at night when residents are cooking dinner and warming their homes. Unfortunately, Diablo Canyon is scheduled to be shut down in 2025. Like San Onofre, it will be replaced by electricity generated by gas turbines.

California's electricity carbon emissions rose 2% last year, to the dismay of renewables + gas enthusiasts. As the trend continues, more and more California legislators who bought in to the renewables fantasy will realize Diablo Canyon's operation will be essential to meeting its 2030 emissions goals.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 15, 2019

Actually the repsonsilility for providing/purchasing electricity in Berkeley goes to - East Bay Community Energy.

They currently do not purchase any nuclear from PG&Es Diablo plant.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 16, 2019

Joe, I noticed you conveniently edited the footnote from Bright Choice's "Unspecified Sources of Power", which reads:

"Unspecified sources of power include power provided by Asset Controlling Suppliers (ACS). EBCE is forecasting that 23% of its generation mix will come from the BC Hydro system, which is a form of ACS and carbon-free large hydroelectric power."

Though there are currently no ACSs which provide carbon-free power EBCE apparently bought its Ouija Board at the same toy store you did, and predicts it will happen real soon. The other 77% could be anything (nuclear? coal?).

We already know the Renewable solar/wind plan is a lie - otherwise, participants' lights would go off if the wind stopped blowing after dark. EBCE refuses to publicly release the contracts for providing electricity for the Brilliant plan.

With no way for Berkeley residents to verify they're getting what they pay for, I guess it's up to you. How do you know they're not getting the same PG&E power they always did, marketed with happy new names?

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 15, 2019

Bob you said:

California's electricity carbon emissions rose 2% last year, to the dismay of renewables + gas enthusiasts. As the trend continues, more and more California legislators who bought in to the renewables fantasy will realize Diablo Canyon's operation will be essential to meeting its 2030 emissions goals.

Can you point us to your souce for this data? CARB only released the data for 2017 the other day - and that showed a continued drop in emissions. See chart (pg 9).

I am not disputing your 2% rise number - that seems possible - although - coal imports did drop another 3 TWh in 2018. Just wondering how you got the official 2018 data so early.

Also - can you point us to the source of data for your comment :

As the trend continues

By this, I am assuming that you mean CO2 is rising in CA through the first half of 2019. What is your source for this data? 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 18, 2019

Thanks for 2018 reference.

Unclear what Rhodium Group - quoted in your article - uses in its calculation for CA emissions... looks like it could be CAISO numbers.  The numbers match.

From Rhodium:

Last year’s 2 percent increase in electricity-sector emissions comes after a 9 percent decline in 2017 and a 13 percent decline in 2016. 

From CAISO:

  • 2016: - 12.5%
  • 2017: - 8.8%
  • 2018: + 2.0%

 

To see trend so far in 2019 here are CAISO numbers thru Jun:

Down 8.2% YTD. Back on track.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 15, 2019

Specht points out that a recent analysis that shows that new, all-electric homes end up saving homeowners money in comparison to new homes built with natural gas.” 

The $ arguments will be the ones that always in, so showing this will have to be key to any move away from indoor gas use

Andrew Burger's picture
Thank Andrew for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »