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Zap to the Future: Strategic Electrification

Updated: Jan 9


Strategic electrification stands to transform the traditional utility business model by enhancing grid flexibility, facilitating decarbonization, and changing the way utilities interact with customers and the grid.

Primary Objective

"To power end-uses with electricity instead of fossil fuels in a way that increases energy efficiency and reduces pollution, while lowering costs to customers and society, as part of an integrated approach to deep decarbonization." (Source: NEEP)

Commons barriers to adoption:

Economic

• High upfront costs of replacement technologies

• Slow accrual of savings due to low fossil fuel prices

Social/Institutional

• Lack of awareness and inertia

• Split incentive problem (i.e., landlords and tenants)

• Least-cost procurement requirements

Technical/Infrastructure

• Insufficient electric vehicle charging infrastructure

• Limited cost-effective options for heavy duty electric vehicles

• Limitations to the installation of ground-source heat pumps

• Limitations to the ability of air-source heat pumps

Policy/Regulatory

• Limits on the ways funds can be applied and programs can be

designed

(Source: NEEP)

Electrification By Market Segment:

Buildings

• Residential Space Heating & Cooling: Air-source heat pumps (ASHPs)

and ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs)

• Commercial Space Heating & Cooling: ASHPs, GSHPs, variable

refrigerant flow

• Water Heating: Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs)

Industry

• Electrification of process heating (e.g., electric furnaces)

• Electrification of process steam generation (e.g., electrode boilers,

induction boilers, microwave heating)

Transportation

• Electrification of cars & light trucks

• Electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles

(Source: NEEP)

• Increase annual sales from greater kWh demand

• Receive favorable return on investment

• Realize decarbonization targets / environmental benefits

• Build utility’s base of controllable load to improve operation efficiency

while accommodating increased renewables & DER

• Enhance customer satisfaction

(Source: NEEP)

1. Conduct Market Assessment

2. Assess Regulatory Climate & Develop Strategy

3. Choose an Implementation Strategy

4. Determine Infrastructure Requirements

5. Get Buy-in

(Source: POWER Magazine)

Strategic Electrification - Webinar

A Plug for Effective EV Rate Design - Webinar

Electrification Study: End-Use Electric Technology Cost & Performance

Projections through 2050

National Economic Value Assessment of Plug-In Electric Vehicles

Electrification & Decarbonization: Exploring U.S. Energy Use &

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Scenarios with Widespread Electrification

& Power Sector Decarbonization

Environmentally beneficial electrification: The dawn of ‘emissions

efficiency’

Transitioning to Electrification: Case Studies