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California Renewable Energy Legislation / Progress

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,988
18,046
North Bay, CA
San Diego has rates that are 2X higher in electric prices than NorCal. Super off-peak rates don't kick in here till midnight, and in the winter here most people have to run the heat LONG before that.

The end result is that the cost of energy for electricity is multiples higher than natural gas. When some people in this state already have trouble making ends meet, policies like this WILL push more of them into homelessness.
So your analysis was wrong, you agree. Care to attempt it again with actual efficiencies and true costs?

Edit to add: The piece was about San Jose, not San Diego.. something else to consider with your analysis.
 
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bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,144
16,843
San Diego, CA
Looks like you are assuming replacing NG with electric resistance heating which is stupid.
Heat pumps get about 4x as much heat from a kWh as resistance heating.
Also, my electric cost (in California) is $0.15 kWh.
Math works out much better.
40 therms NG replaced by heat pump would take about 300 kWh electricity which costs $45.
80 therms NG replaced by heat pump would take about 600 kWh electricity which costs $90.

You are assuming that people will pay thousands to tens of thousands to retrofit their homes with new equipment to reach this efficiency . . . further supporting my insane cost hypothesis.

It was COLD here on the mountain last winter, and even keeping the house at 68, we used 150 therms in Jan. I don't have enough land space (forget roof space) to add enough panels and powerwalls to make up that difference.

And at night, that energy in SDG&E is coming for NG-fired plants, not renewables.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,212
10,732
California
San Diego has rates that are 2X higher in electric prices than NorCal. Super off-peak rates don't kick in here till midnight, and in the winter here most people have to run the heat LONG before that.

The end result is that the cost of energy for electricity is multiples higher than natural gas. When some people in this state already have trouble making ends meet, policies like this WILL push more of them into homelessness.
I just showed you how electric heat pump heat costs no more than NG heat in California.
 

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,988
18,046
North Bay, CA
You are assuming that people will pay thousands to tens of thousands to retrofit their homes with new equipment to reach this efficiency . . . further supporting my insane cost hypothesis.
Once again, completely ignoring the piece. It's for new construction, not retrofits. Existing homes would continue to keep their legacy equipment. In San Jose.

Article: San Jose bans natural gas in new construction.
@bkp_duke: San Diego retrofits with old electric resistance heaters are super expensive and it will cause homelessness.

o_O
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,144
16,843
San Diego, CA
Geothermal heatpumps are almost never installed in San Diego county due to the extremely rocky soil conditions. These conditions vary from location to location within the county, but we live basically on a granite mountain top. We investigated one of these installations when the house was built and basically to do it, we would have to pull off 18-30 inches of soil in a 2500SF area and replace it with good dirt.

Extremely dry conditions on the mountain also greatly impact geothermal efficiency here, another reason not many are installed.

Land in San Diego is WAY different in composition than NorCal. We're basically a rocky, arid climate.

EDIT:
For your reading pleasure:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1303052&ext=pdf
 

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,988
18,046
North Bay, CA
Geothermal heatpumps are almost never installed in San Diego county due to the extremely rocky soil conditions. These conditions vary from location to location within the county, but we live basically on a granite mountain top. We investigated one of these installations when the house was built and basically to do it, we would have to pull off 18-30 inches of soil in a 2500SF area and replace it with good dirt.

Extremely dry conditions on the mountain also greatly impact geothermal efficiency here, another reason not many are installed.

Land in San Diego is WAY different in composition than NorCal. We're basically a rocky, arid climate.
Air exchange heat pumps have about a 4x COP, which is what I mentioned above. Not geothermal.
 

iPlug

Member
Sep 14, 2019
503
718
Rocklin, CA
99% of Californians are well served by air sourced heat pumps. Geothermal needs are edge cases for most Californians - the few living in Sierra regions. Our climate has colder winters than San Diego and we switched from a central ducted NG furnace to heat pump 1.5 years ago and it has performed exceptionally well and very efficiently in the winter.
 
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mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,212
10,732
California
Geothermal heatpumps are almost never installed in San Diego county due to the extremely rocky soil conditions. These conditions vary from location to location within the county, but we live basically on a granite mountain top. We investigated one of these installations when the house was built and basically to do it, we would have to pull off 18-30 inches of soil in a 2500SF area and replace it with good dirt.

Extremely dry conditions on the mountain also greatly impact geothermal efficiency here, another reason not many are installed.

Land in San Diego is WAY different in composition than NorCal. We're basically a rocky, arid climate.

EDIT:
For your reading pleasure:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1303052&ext=pdf
That's why nobody installs Geo heat pumps. Most people have figured out that air source heat pumps are better.
 
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Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
1,693
1,125
San Diego
It was COLD here on the mountain last winter, and even keeping the house at 68, we used 150 therms in Jan.
That's nuts. My house used 232 therms in an entire year at it's worst when I had a 1970s furnace and that's for hot water, too. Replaced with hybrid heat-pump system that mostly runs electric unless it gets fairly cold out (I think it's set to cut to gas below 45F, but could set that lower), now use half the gas every year and maybe 1000 kWh more/year. Of the 115 therms/year I use, I estimate 70-80 of that is hot water, so maybe 45 therms of gas for heating. Hard to say how much of the 115 therm reduction was due to more efficient furnace vs heat pump, but let's do the math on comparing a ASHP to a furnace:

Modern furnace: 95% efficient
Modern heat pump: 3.5 COP (and will probably do better in mild San Diego climate)

SDG&E Prices:
Gas ~$1.40/therm
Electricity: Varies, but let's call it $0.26/kWh since that's what the EV-TOU-2 rate costs on average.

1 therm of gas is equal to 29.3 kWh of energy. So gas costs about $0.05 per usable kWh equivalent of energy. ($1.40 / 29.3 * 95% = $0.05).
But a heat pump with a 3.5 COP will cost only $0.07 per usable kWh of equivalent energy ($0.25 / 3.5 = $0.07).

So yeah, it'll cost more, but it's not drastic given the moderate heating costs if your home is halfway decently insulated here in San Diego.

And at night, that energy in SDG&E is coming for NG-fired plants, not renewables.
Yeah, but even if you straight up swap a gas furnace for a heat pump, the net gas usage is about the same worst case (~30% efficient gas peaker plant, but your heat pump has a COP of 3.5). Better case you're getting your electricity from a combined cycle plant running 60% efficient and now you're doing better. Or how about some wind power. Or maybe run a Powerwall or other battery to shift some solar energy. Long term the grid is only going to get cleaner - especially SDG&E which has to meet aggressive targets for renewable energy.

That's why nobody installs Geo heat pumps. Most people have figured out that air source heat pumps are better.
Yep. A scroll/inverter drive air source heat pump is the way to go these days.

Eliminating gas is a logical step towards minimize GHG emissions in buildings.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,144
16,843
San Diego, CA
That's nuts. My house used 232 therms in an entire year at it's worst when I had a 1970s furnace and that's for hot water, too. Replaced with hybrid heat-pump system that mostly runs electric unless it gets fairly cold out (I think it's set to cut to gas below 45F, but could set that lower), now use half the gas every year and maybe 1000 kWh more/year. Of the 115 therms/year I use, I estimate 70-80 of that is hot water, so maybe 45 therms of gas for heating. Hard to say how much of the 115 therm reduction was due to more efficient furnace vs heat pump, but let's do the math on comparing a ASHP to a furnace:

Modern furnace: 95% efficient
Modern heat pump: 3.5 COP (and will probably do better in mild San Diego climate)

SDG&E Prices:
Gas ~$1.40/therm
Electricity: Varies, but let's call it $0.26/kWh since that's what the EV-TOU-2 rate costs on average.

1 therm of gas is equal to 29.3 kWh of energy. So gas costs about $0.05 per usable kWh equivalent of energy. ($1.40 / 29.3 * 95% = $0.05).
But a heat pump with a 3.5 COP will cost only $0.07 per usable kWh of equivalent energy ($0.25 / 3.5 = $0.07).

So yeah, it'll cost more, but it's not drastic given the moderate heating costs if your home is halfway decently insulated here in San Diego.


Yeah, but even if you straight up swap a gas furnace for a heat pump, the net gas usage is about the same worst case (~30% efficient gas peaker plant, but your heat pump has a COP of 3.5). Better case you're getting your electricity from a combined cycle plant running 60% efficient and now you're doing better. Or how about some wind power. Or maybe run a Powerwall or other battery to shift some solar energy. Long term the grid is only going to get cleaner - especially SDG&E which has to meet aggressive targets for renewable energy.


Yep. A scroll/inverter drive air source heat pump is the way to go these days.

Eliminating gas is a logical step towards minimize GHG emissions in buildings.


This is a brand new home. Not small, mind you, but well-insulated.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,723
9,928
United States
California can begin prohibiting the sale of several types of less-efficient light bulbs even as a challenge to its expanded standards continues to play out, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Dec. 31.

Court rules California can enforce stricter lightbulb standards amid challenges to DOE rollbacks

I wish Lowes, Wal-Mart and Home Depot would follow Costcos lead and just stop selling garbage. People are lazy... if they can't drop a light emitting heater into their cart while they're shopping very few people are going to go through the trouble of finding one online.
 

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
2,975
7,084
El Lay
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mblakele

beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
1,714
5,497
SF Bay Area
Some grants coming up ($11 million) for development of longer duration energy storage that is not lithium ion batteries. With a second group of grants for electrolytic hydrogen storage technologies:

California has big clean energy ambitions, and is looking for better energy storage to realize them

I was wondering when we would start to see some movement on longer duration storage technology.

RT

I'm glad to see anything on long-term storage. $11M seems like a decent amount, even though we should be investing much more. It's interesting that they're focused on "customer side of the meter applications".

But I'm less than happy with this $2M carve-out for H2:

The second group’s sole focus, on the other hand, will be converting electrolytic hydrogen storage technologies from laboratory prototypes to field tests, and proposals will have to indicate the commercial potential of their systems, along with a forecast of prices. Neither group can include fossil fuels in their proposed storage systems.​

Why exclude CH4, so long as the design ensures a closed loop for CO2? We already store natural gas for long periods, and CH4 can use the same technology and infrastructure. In Europe, HELMETH has demonstrated a renewable storage loop with solar+wind generating H2, then binding that to CO2 as CH4. Burning the CH4 in an efficient turbine frees the CO2 to be fed back into the closed loop.

Well, that closed-loop might be difficult to enforce in consumer applications. Or maybe the point is that we know the H2-CH4 cycle will work, but we haven't yet compared it with H2 storage at the scale of a pilot plant?

Still, specifying hydrogen seems like a political compromise and smacks of trying to pick winners in advance. That's usually a losing strategy. We'd be better off with an open competitive environment for all $11M. Better still, make it $100M.

These are also cogent points from the article:

At the same time, non-lithium ion storage technologies are essentially “chasing a moving target,” Burwen added. If lithium-ion costs continue to decline over the next several years, new technologies will have to meet more intensive cost benchmarks. Developers of emerging technologies also need to figure out how to get paid for additional performance, like longer durations.​

We live in interesting times.
 

RubberToe

Supporting the greater good
Jun 28, 2012
2,975
7,084
El Lay
The CAISO website started posting incorrect numbers on November 11th. This was for the "Daily Renewables Watch" that is the source of the data that I used for my periodic graphs tracking California's renewable generation as a percentage of total power. A few days later they sent me an e-mail that they saw this, and the website posted that a system upgrade caused data irregularities. The site is still missing data from 9-23-19 to 12-11-19. Thats one of the reason why I haven't posted updated data recently. I also started tracking wind power starting in January 2019 so I'll have YOY wind power data to be able to see how fast that is increasing WRT solar PV.

One thing that is interesting, maybe someone here can explain why this might be the case. The maximum renewable daily peak this year seems to be getting capped at just under 8,500 MW. This is done by limiting solar PV, while solar thermal and wind seem to be allowed to reach their typical daily maximum. See the pictures below. Last year in 2019, it seemed to be allowed to go quite a bit higher.

Anyone know what is causing this to be done?

ren__2019_01_24.jpg



ren__2020_01_217.jpg
 

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