For environmental reasons, there’s an ongoing push to “electrify everything,” from cars to port operations to heating.
The idea is that a “deep electrification” will help lower greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
The reality, however, is that more electrification will surge the need for electricity, an obvious fact that seems to be getting forgotten.
The majority of this increase occurs in the transportation sector: electric cars can increase home power usage by 50% or more.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that “electrification has the potential to significantly increase overall demand for electricity.”
NREL reports that a “high” electrification scenario would up our power demand by around 40% through 2050.
A high electrification scenario would grow our annual power consumption by 80 terawatt hours per year.
For comparison, that is like adding a Colorado and Massachusetts of new demand each year.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) confirms that electrification could boom our power demand by over 50%.
Electricity is slated to more than double its share of final energy consumption to around 50% in the decades ahead.
From load shifting to higher peak demand, deep electrification will present major challenges for us.
At around 4,050 terawatt hours, U.S. power demand has been flat over the past decade since The Great Recession.
Ultimately, much higher electricity demand favors all sources of electricity, a “rising tide lifts all boats” sort of thing.
But in particular, it favors gas because gas supplies almost 40% of U.S. electricity generation, up from 20% a decade ago.
Gas is cheap, reliable, flexible, and backups intermittent wind and solar.
In fact, even over the past decade with flat electricity demand, U.S. gas used for electricity has still managed to balloon 60% to 30 Bcf/d.
At 235,000 MW, the U.S. Department of Energy has gas easily adding the most power capacity in the decades ago.
Electrification and more electricity needs show how we demand realistic energy policies.
As the heart of our electric power system, natural gas will surely remain essential.
Indeed, EPRI models that U.S. gas usage increases under “all” electrification scenarios even if gas prices more than double to $6.00 per MMBtu.
Some are forgetting that the clear growth sectors for the U.S. gas industry are a triad, in order: LNG exports, electricity, manufacturing.
The industry obviously knows, for instance, that the residential sector hasn’t seen any gains in gas demand in 50 years.
Read it from Forbes – Photo as posted on Forbes (Flat for a decade, U.S. power demand is set to boom as environmental goals push us to “electrify … [+]DATA SOURCE: NREL; JTC )