Powering Strong Communities
Grid Modernization

Electrifying the Future: Current Trends, Future Pathways, and Potential Challenges

The electrification of end-use technologies, such as electric space and water heating as well as electric vehicles (EVs), offers potential benefits to the environment and consumers. Potential benefits of electrification include, but are not limited to, reduced CO2 emissions, more efficient use of energy, long-term fuel savings, and lower overall monthly energy costs. Yet there are several potential challenges, including reduced efficiencies in colder climates, higher upfront costs for EVs, and the overall cost of converting to electrified end uses.

This report analyzes trends in electrification deployment through the current day and discusses potential developments. The first part of this report analyzes currently available data showing relative percentages of electrification in different parts of the United States. The uptake of electrification is impacted by region, climate, and electric rates. Customers who have electric heating in their homes have lower overall energy bills than those whose homes are heated by other technologies.

The second part of this report focuses on the future of electrification and identifies at least three major hurdles that need to be overcome to realize wider adoption of electrification: the cost of transitioning energy resources to electric, supply chain constraints associated with the materials needed for batteries, and limitations of the existing electric grid, both in terms of wires and generating capacity.

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