Propane’s role in California’s clean energy future.
California is a complicated place. Our diverse population is spread across a wide variety of geographic regions – we’ve got beaches, mountains, deserts, and rain forests. Our industries produce everything from organic produce to electric vehicles. To supply our tremendous demand for energy, we rely primarily on a variable mix of renewable electricity from reservoirs, wind, and solar farms, and conventional electricity generated from natural gas and nuclear power plants. When demand peaks in the summer, we access electricity from out-of-state producers including coal-fired plants. At Kamps Propane, we help reduce the emissions of California’s energy marketplace and serve customers who can’t rely on electricity for a variety of reasons.
Propane is the fuel of choice for a variety of applications, in a variety of places.
- In communities without natural gas, propane is the most economical fuel for furnaces and water heaters
- In warehouses large and small, propane is the preferred fuel for quickly moving goods to market
- For catering and food trucks, propane is the top choice for safe and economical cooking fuel
- On farms, propane reduces emissions and lowers fuel bills when replacing diesel or gasoline engines
- For disaster response teams, propane delivers heat for emergency shelters and hot water for showers and laundry operations
- At restaurants and on backyard patios, propane fuels BBQ’s, heaters, and good times
- In campgrounds and parks, propane is the go-to fuel for campstoves and s’mores over a wildfire-safe fire pit
Propane makes sense for California because it’s the only fuel that works across a variety of applications while meeting our high environmental standards. Propane has a great environmental profile and with the emergence of renewable propane, our customers will be able to reduce their carbon footprint without changing their appliances! Here’s what you need to know about propane and the environment.
- Propane is not a greenhouse gas and cannot contaminate water or soil
- Conventional propane is already a low-carbon fuel
- Renewable propane is sustainable, from non-fossil sources
- Propane is safely portable which explains why it’s used when creating temporary shelter after natural disasters
- Propane produces heat more efficiently than electricity which matters a lot to people who live in colder climates
- Propane-fueled space and water heating works great in solar homes to reduce the electricity demand
- Propane fuels generators that provide resilient energy when grid-supplied electricity fails
What about the “Electrification of Everything”?
The current conversation about energy is long on wind and frequently short-circuited when it comes to facts. The popular idea is that electricity = clean energy. On the surface, that’s easy to accept because the emissions from generating electricity are often created hundreds of miles away from where the current is used.
But that’s an oversimplification and it hides a few important facts. Let’s call them inconvenient truths.
- Electricity can appear to be clean where we use it while it is in fact generated with methane, or worse, coal. That’s not green, or clean.
- There isn’t nearly enough clean electricity (solar, wind, hydro, etc) to meet our current demand
- California’s demand for electricity goes up every day
- Families and businesses in small towns and rural communities often suffer from unreliable electrical service
- California’s power grid is in disrepair due to deferred maintenance resulting from utility operator mismanagement
- Building our 21st-century power system will cost billions and take decades
Our problems with the grid will get worse before they get better. Wildfires will continue to be started by poorly maintained power lines. Dirty power from out-of-state sources will continue to be used when demand exceeds our limited supply of clean power. Climate change will reduce our drinking water storage and reduce the resulting hydropower production. If you think that electricity is expensive now, the inconvenient truth is that it will get more expensive. California’s electric utility ratepayers will bear the cost of addressing this crisis. And when they run out of money, the taxpayers will have to bail them out.
That’s why we’re standing up and speaking out for propane and propane users in California.
- Propane offers a low-carbon alternative to more carbon-intensive fuels
- Renewable propane is an obvious choice for the continued decarbonization of energy in California
- Propane is the resilient heating and cooking fuel choice for consumers who experience frequent power outages
- Propane is the clean choice for generating electricity when grid-supplied power fails
- Propane consumers have choices because the marketplace is not monopolized
These are the facts. Climate change is the driving force behind an evolutionary shift in how we produce energy and what it will cost. Propane is the only low-carbon fossil fuel that can be replaced by a lower-carbon renewable version available in the market today. The escalating cost of energy will be most harmful to the vulnerable people in our most economically fragile communities. It isn’t enough to produce clean energy for the people who are fortunate enough to afford it.
California needs energy for everyone. That’s why we need propane, and renewable propane, to meet the needs of California’s clean energy future. For the applications where electricity doesn’t work. For the places where electricity isn’t resilient. For the people who can’t afford to upgrade their housing or business to run on electricity.
This is a crisis in the making and so we all must act. Click here to contact your elected representatives and express your support for renewable propane. Tell them you insist on energy for everyone, not just an unreliable supply of electricity for the affluent people who can afford it.