Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bans on natural gas could be missing the real climate change problems

Something I've been thinking. Since much of our electricity, these days, comes from natural gas, I've been thinking it might not reduce fossil fuel consumption to have a ban.

Turns out, according to this article, gas burned in a home furnace can be 90% efficient, but when burned in a powerplant and then sent by transmission lines to electric heating in a home, only 45% efficient? I think really? Apparently power plants aren't that efficient. Lots of the waste heat goes up the cooling towers.

One of the problems is that modern homes tend to be bigger so more energy is used anyway, whether electricity or gas. That's closer to the real problem. If electricity, the grid is still too reliant on fossil fuels and (in this area, the US Pacific Northwest) hydro power. Hydro power is low carbon footprint, but does have an impact. Just ask the salmon.

Heat pumps can help, versus resistance electric heating, but they can be expensive.

We just need to use less in buildings, cars and so forth. We also need to speed up the greening of our energy sources.

My article in The Betty Pages about proposals to ban natural gas heating. I think, maybe a carbon tax would work better, but we do need to find ways to reduce fossil fuel dependency.

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