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California has made yet another step on its way to complete reliance on renewable energy by banning the use of gas-powered water heaters and furnaces from 2030.
The proposal to ban these products was approved unilaterally by the California Air Resources Board yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
“We’re really hopeful that this is the beginning of a domino effect and other states will follow California’s lead,” said Leah Louis-Prescott, an associate at RMI, a clean energy non-profit.
The ban does not cover gas stoves for now but many cities in California are seeking to discourage the use of gas stoves and a switch to electric-only appliances.
Now, with the gas furnace ban, Californians will have to familiarize themselves with heat pumps: all-electric heating appliances that are gaining popularity in Europe as an alternative to traditional heating methods.
Touted as the way forward in heating technology, heat pumps are praised for efficiency and emission footprint but they do have constraints such as temperature and they add to electricity consumption, which could strain a grid designed for a certain—lower—level of consumption.
Earlier this month California moved to ban the sales of internal-combustion engine cars from 2035. While climate activists have welcomed the news, there are some issues, such as the fact that EVs in California, which is the biggest EV market in the States, only make up 15 percent of new car sales, per figures from the California New Car Dealers' Association.
Going from 15 percent to 100 percent in 11 years would be challenging for a car industry that is already struggling to find enough raw materials for the millions of EVs companies have committed to manufacture.
Meanwhile, California continues to get some 40 percent of its power from fossil fuels. This needs to change if the state is to hit its own target of a zero-emission grid by 2045.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
Like electric cars, where is the roadmap to get to 2035 (Plan B)?
Oil is another great example, cut production and pipelines, but no alternative to backfill causing a myriad of other problems. The electric car industry is not yet poised to backfill the demand it would take to achieve these goals. Cost of vehicles is still too high for most Americans and supply chains (rare earth elements) can barely keep up in todays environment. Even if an electric car was affordable, we do not have the charging infrastructure to handle a surge in electric vehicles on the road (Plan B) to reach the goal.
Not to worry, most if not all of the people making these decisions will not be in office or will be retired by the time we reach 2030-2035. Our younger generations will be left to pick up the pieces.
And below 60 and above 80 efficiency drops off rapidly. Thus at those temps, people with heat pumps are pretty much required by the equipment to keep them running all day and night so that they don't have to 'catch up' on heating or cooling. A gas furnace or a dedicated real AC unit is much more efficient at low or high external temps, especially a gas furnace. Even at today's gas prices, a gas furnace is about 1/3 as costly during the winter months as electricity. Not only because of efficiency, but because much of that electricity is generated by gas or other fossil fuels, especially during the times heating is needed the most (i.e. the winter or after dark). Electrical resistance heating just can't compare with a gas flame.
I live in a 3rd world country whose electricity is incredibly unreliable, though much of it is produced through hydro power (We, in the eastern part of the country, were without power for 18 hours yesterday. And 24 hours a couple of days ago. No one has said why the most recent event occurred, the previous event was attributed to transformer problems.) I and most of my countrymen would be in a tough situation without backup (as in LPG) power sources to cook our food. Or our forests would be devastated.
OTOH, California doesn't get very hot or cold, so maybe heat pumps will work there and, besides they have a state of the art distribution grid. Their government wouldn't steer them wrong, would it?