A Decade of Transformation: Electrification (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video A Decade of Transformation: Electrification.

Ella Zhou, senior researcher, NREL: Electrification is a critical component of least-cost decarbonization pathways, as it dramatically reduces emissions from buildings, transportation, and industrial sectors.


Text on screen: A Decade of Transformation: Electrification

Paige Jadun, researcher, NREL: Electrification essentially means that we're looking at end-use applications that traditionally use fossil fuels, so things like vehicles, things like heating with natural gas, and looking at transitioning those end uses to now technologies that can use electricity.

Yinong Sun, energy systems modeler and analyst, NREL: People were not really talking about the term electrification that much 10 years ago. We were more focusing on the supply side. We were trying to decarbonize the grid in terms of the generating technologies and type of things we are building, a lot of wind and solar power plants.

Paige Jadun: But looking forward, there's a lot more opportunities and technologies for electrification, so starting to think about electrifying medium- or heavy-duty trucks or even electric airplanes.

Yinong Sun: Electrifying the services or the transportation, building, and industrial sectors while also decarbonizing our power system grid can really help us achieve a deep decarbonization future across the whole economy.

Ella Zhou: So great analysis typically focus on the supply side generation and transmission while treating the demand side as a static input. But with the rising adoption of demand-side resources and trending electrification and demand response aggregation, we have been working on bridging these two sides together.

Demand-side flexibility means shifting the electricity consumption from hours of high demand to hours of low demand and high renewable generation. For many places in the U.S., it means shifting your electricity consumption at seven o'clock in the evening to a few hours earlier or later, and this can lead to significant system operational cost savings.

Paige Jadun: Demand for electricity starts now to be able to become much more responsive and much more flexible, and it can play an active role of actually reacting and adjusting to the demand side.

Yinong Sun: Both the supply side and demand side are super important in achieving a clean, cheap, but also reliable power system. And we have verified that this is definitely doable and we are ready to up the future of electrification.

Text on screen: Learn more about NREL's RE Futures Study at bit.ly/REFutures.