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natural gas

From: domainremoved <Gregory>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 20:22:16 +0000

At first glance it would seem an ecological no-brainer, substituting electric heating from renewable sources for natural gas. This would certainly be true if heat pumps were required, but they are expensive and best suited for less temperate climates. A closer analysis however may show that the proposed banishment of new natural gas heating in favor of renewable electric resistance heating would likely increase CO2 emissions, counter-intuitive though this may seem. Consider and study the following before voting.

Direct heating using natural gas is more efficient than converting it to electricity and using it later for typical electric heating. Generation and transmission inefficiencies are responsible; see yesterday's excellent email from Bill along similar lines.

Natural gas will still be used for some electricity generation, even if we approach full renewable sourcing. I suspect that last 10% will not be cost or carbon effective. So gas is still the last resort source, particularly in the proximate future.

If you switch to electric direct heating, the electric demand increases a bit. Even if you are using a renewable source, this must be replaced. It will come from the last resort choice, natural gas. Thus the net result is to replace direct gas usage with the less efficient indirect usage. You have actually increased CO2 emissions as a result. This needs a last-in first-out energy systems analysis, not just using an average of electricity sources.

So unless you can find a clear logical refutation of this scenario, or require heat pumps or direct thermal solar, you will be harming the fight against global warming by passing this ordinance.

Greg Smith

Menlo Park
Received on Tue Sep 10 2019 - 13:14:49 PDT

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