The Path of Beneficial Electrification

California Geo 3-29-20 Electricity has operated stationary devices and equipment for much of its history.  Until the development of Lithium-ion batteries for hand tools, plugs and cords were necessary to run equipment not already hard-wired to circuit breakers in an electrical box.  Aside from a brief, 1950s residential trend toward the “gold medallion” all-electric home, […]

2019 Year-End Reflections

CaliforniaGeo 12-27-19 Hello.  I’m Bill Martin, your leader at the California Geothermal Heat Pump Association.  We always push a consistent message— how renewable energy can replace fossil fuel use and the emissions they cause that threaten our health in the near term and our survival as a species in the long term. Geothermal heat pumps […]

Carbon divestment is the latest version of the boycott

CaliforniaGeo 12-11-19 The economic boycott as a means to achieve desired ends goes back to colonial America’s Stamp Act of 1765.  The better-known 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott was initiated by the arrest of Rosa Parks and it lasted 381 days until it equalized bus riders’ rights in the Jim Crow south.  Between these two […]

World climate defense—the U.S. is not helping

CaliforniaGeo 12-10-19 There are 197 nations other than the United States who committed to the Paris Accords of 2015.  Even though the Green New Deal and Greta Thunberg have become well known for de-carbonization, the U.S. has maintained that energy “independence” is still a worthy policy goal. False Independence- Historically, a number of critical moments […]

What the Levelized Cost of Electricity Tells Us

(Why we should care about that) CaliforniaGeo 8-13-19 The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is a numerical value that tells us what a particular generating technology will cost over 20 years to create a unit we are all familiar with—a Kilowatt hour.  It’s the same quantity that might be expressed as a 100 watt light […]

The environmental mistake at Folsom Ranch

CaliforniaGeo 8-1-19  Recent developments in California municipalities (Folsom & Berkeley) have been both good and not so good for the environment and the overall thrust of this state’s emissions and related policy.  Some years ago, the City of Folsom annexed an adjacent southern parcel and masterplanned it for some 10,000 residential dwellings, built out over […]

Where is coal and carbon today?

Economics are the ultimate policy driver CaliforniaGeo, 7-12-19 On a trip through central and western Montana this summer I spied a couple of long, westbound coal trains, and a switchyard full of them in Missoula (like the ones below).  Wondering where they were headed I consulted a RR map of Montana and concluded they were […]

The six pipe simultaneous chiller/boiler

A marvel of efficiency CaliforniaGeo, 7-10-19 The six pipe simultaneous chiller/boiler (aka heat recovery chiller) is a larger-than-residential heat pump system composed of linked, connectible modules in graduated 20-to-80 ton capacities.  When deployed as five dual scroll modular units, these can throttle back to 10% of their staged full capacity (15% with four linked modules) […]

Remembering the Methane Express

111 Days at Aliso Canyon CaliforniaGeo  5-25-19 This spring saw the completion of a 258-page third party analysis by Blade Energy Partners of well SS-25 at Aliso Canyon, CA, just north of Los Angeles.  The analysis covered the direct causes and the root causes of this uncontrolled leak of 6.6 billion cubic feet of methane […]

How Now, De-carbonization?

(Will California rules be used to keep on burning gas in homes?) CaliforniaGeo 4-8–19 This week, two California state agencies will begin workshops whose purpose is to achieve de-carbonization in buildings.  The Public Utility Commission is the lead agency and will collaborate with the Energy Commission to enact provisions of SB 1477, the Low-emissions buildings […]