Electrification Futures Study
Through the Electrification Futures Study (EFS), NREL is exploring the impacts of widespread electrification in all U.S. economic sectors.
In this multiyear 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.
Released January 2021, the fifth report in the EFS series presents analysis on the potential impacts of widespread electrification on the U.S. electricity system—specifically generation and transmission infrastructure investments, fuel use, system costs, and emissions. The report focuses on supply-side scenarios encompassing a wide range of future conditions under electrification levels developed in the second report. A scenario data viewer is available for those who want to take a deeper dive.
Data: Report figure data
Journal Article: High Electrification Futures: Impacts to the U.S. Bulk Power System
Methods for Supply-Side Scenarios
Released in July 2020, the fourth report in the EFS series provides detailed descriptions of the methodologies used to represent interactions between electricity supply and demand under widespread electrification in power system planning models. The report focuses on major improvements to NREL’s Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model, a publicly available capacity expansion model that simulates the evolution of the U.S. electricity system through 2050.
Demand-Side Grid Model for Electricity Consumption
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.
Webpage: dsgrid: Demand-Side Grid Model
Technical Report: The Demand-Side Grid (dsgrid) Model Documentation
Presentation: The demand-side grid (dsgrid) model
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.
Industrial Sector Presentation: Electrification of Industry: Summary of EFS Industrial Sector Analysis
Foundational Technology Cost and Performance Data
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.
Coming Next: Detailed Grid Simulations
Grid operations and the role of demand-side flexibility under high electrification scenarios will be further evaluated using hourly unit commitment and economic dispatch modeling.
Electrification Futures Study in the News
Five Takeaways from a New NREL Report on Electrification's Futures, PV Magazine (January 2021)
Electrification of HVAC Regionally Gains Ground, Air Conditioning, Cooling, Heating, and Refrigeration (ACHR) News (April 2020)
How Might Electrification Affect Electric and Gas Systems? Recent Studies Shed Both Light and Heat, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Blog (September 2018)
EVs Could Drive 38% Rise in U.S. Electricity Demand, DOE Lab Finds, Utility Dive (July 2018)
‘Electrification of Everything’ Would Spike US Electricity Use, but Lower Final Energy Consumption, Greentech Media (July 2018)
What Does the ‘Electrification of Everything’ Look Like in America? NREL Plans to Find Out, Greentech Media (January 2018)
Other NREL Reports on Electrification