The Electrification of Everything?
Electricity accounts for roughly 20% of global final energy demand today, up from around 15% twenty years ago. Accelerating electrification is considered a key pathway to a low-carbon future as wind, solar and other zero-carbon electricity sources continue to expand around the world. In sectors like transportation, electric vehicles (EVs) are already growing rapidly, and charging infrastructure is being built—but requiring significant expansion. In other sectors, such as industrial heat and buildings, however, electrification has just begun and remains a complex process involving more than just a technology substitution. What are the opportunities and challenges in continued electrification? What technologies are available to convert gas-based heating to electricity? How will electrification change utility load profiles as more buildings are heated with electricity? What new infrastructure is required to support winter peak demand? What implications are there for utilities and will the generation portfolio need to change to meet new winter demand? How will infrastructure needs be met as more EVs hit the road? What commercial models are there for EV charging?