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Electrification Futures Study

Illustration showing various electricity consumers (e.g., buildings) along an electrical cord emanating from various power sources (e.g., a wind turbine), with an outline of the contiguous United States as a background.

Through the Electrification Futures Study (EFS), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is exploring the impacts of widespread electrification in all U.S. economic sectors.

In this multi-year study, NREL and its research partners—Electric Power Research Institute, Evolved Energy Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Northern Arizona University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory—are using multiple analytic tools and models to develop and assess electrification scenarios designed to quantify potential energy, economic, and environmental impacts to the U.S. power system and broader economy.

Publications

Foundational Technology Cost and Performance Data

Chart showing cost projections for battery technologies using three technology advancement trajectories (slow, moderate, and rapid) from the year 2020 to 2050.

Released December 2017, the first report in the EFS series provides estimated cost and performance data for electric technologies considered in the study. The study applies a literature- and expert opinion-based approach in developing future projections of technology advancement to be used in the EFS scenario analysis. The data can also inform other researchers and analysts exploring electrification.

Demand-Side Scenarios

Chart plotting historical and projected annual electricity consumption from the year 1950 to the year 2050, showing growth in the transportation, commercial buildings, residential buildings, and industrial sectors, as a result of analysis of end-use electric technology adoption

Released June 2018, the second report in the EFS series aims to support an integrated understanding of how the potential for electrification might impact the demand side of the U.S. energy system. The report presents scenarios with various degrees of future electrification in all major end-use sectors of the U.S. energy system and quantifies impacts on the amount and shape of electricity demand.

Demand-Side Grid Model for Electricity Consumption

Graphic showing the various components of the demand-side grid (dsgrid) model, including residential, commercial, industrial, and transport models and data, overlaid on a map of the contiguous United States.

Released August 2018, the third report in the EFS series details dsgrid, a new model developed for the EFS and in recognition of a general need for a more detailed understanding of electricity load. dsgrid utilizes a suite of bottom-up engineering models across all major sectors to develop hourly electricity consumption profiles for every county in the contiguous United States.

Coming Next: Supply-Side Scenarios

The data and analyses from the reports released to date will inform the supply scenarios and impacts to be presented in future EFS reports. Planned work will evaluate the potential evolution and operation of the future U.S. electricity supply, as well as the implications for distribution systems and utility business models, to power the end-use transition presented in the demand-side scenarios report.

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EFS in the News

Other Recent NREL Reports on Electrification

Contact

Trieu Mai

trieu.mai@nrel.gov | 303-384-7566