Biden decarbonization goals could triple reliance on electric grid: EPRI

At-a-Glance: 

Maintaining grid reliability is a mis-guided plight within the energy transition journey. The Biden administration has set a target to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030 on the path to a carbon-neutral economy in 2050, and this adjustment will require transitioning the transportation sector to electric vehicles and electrifying buildings and industrial processes that currently run on fossil fuels. Preparing the electric grid for the new normal is a crucial aspect in transitioning the energy sector. Read more on, “Biden decarbonization goals could triple reliance on electric grid: EPRI.

Key Takeaways:

  • About 20% of end-use energy consumption in the United States today is electricity, but that could rise to 60% by 2050 as the country moves towards a carbon-neutral economy.
  • To meet the 2030 target, EPRI sees electricity’s share of end-use energy consumption rising from 20% to 33%. Looking out to 2050, that could rise to 40-60%.
  • There will be a “massive increase in dependence on the electricity sector by society as we go forward,” requiring better energy planning and modeling, collaborative innovation across the industry, and supportive policies and regulations.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The electric grid is expected to be tripled in the coming years – developing the supportive infrastructure to offer a reliable, carbon-free and flexible power system requires proactive solutions to answer the call. Addressing grid capacity will be essential to realizing a 100% zero emission electricity system by 2050, and solar, wind, hydro and nuclear will all play a role in the future grid – the Path to 100% will require leveraging the appropriate technologies and renewable fuels to equip the energy transition. Clean energy goals along with clean energy investments is accelerating the decarbonization journey by putting a focus on decreasing carbon emissions, and in order to accommodate the significant amount of renewables to be installed – flexibility in the form of energy storage and carbon neutral flexible gas power plants will be key to balancing the grid. 

Photo by Ernest Ojeh on Unsplash