Click on the images of an electrified city of the (not so distant) future to learn more.
The core idea behind EPRI’s Efficient Electrification Initiative is that more widespread adoption of electric technologies can deliver significant environmental, economic, and productivity benefits to individuals and society. What could increased electrification look like in America’s homes, businesses, farms, airports, and ports?
An Electrified World
At most airports today, diesel-power ground equipment moves baggage, pushes planes to and from the runway, and supplies them with food and drinks. But at some airports such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, more efficient electric vehicles have replaced their diesel counterparts. The result: an attractive payback for airports and significantly improved local air quality.
Advanced electric heat pumps that cool and warm buildings are becoming more cost-effective in climates zones across the nation. They are more efficient than natural gas furnaces and other fossil-fuel-powered devices and can reduce emissions. An electrified home will also be outfitted with a vehicle charger and an electric cooktop.
Electric vehicles can’t eliminate traffic, but their increasing popularity has significant upsides. Driven by technology advances, battery price reductions, and more widespread charging infrastructure, electric vehicles are poised to reduce transportation emissions and improve air quality. Municipal bus fleets in Los Angeles, New York, and other cities are also transitioning to electric to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate goals.
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the world will need to produce 50% more food to feed its growing population. Indoor agriculture that uses LED lights and electricity instead of sunlight can produce a range of vegetables while reducing water use by up to 95%. Because indoor farms can be located near large populations centers, transportation costs and emissions associated with produce deliveries can be drastically reduced.
The global economy depends on ports, and electrifying them can deliver important business and societal benefits. For instance, by converting its ship-to-shore cranes and refrigerated cargo cranes from diesel to electric, the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah no longer needs to buy 4.5 million gallons of diesel each year and has curbed emissions and improved local air quality.
Electric fryers, griddles, and ovens could soon be the norm in commercial kitchens and restaurants, reducing energy use and emissions and lowering utility bills.
Companies such as Amazon have made it clear that they want to slash emissions from their operations. To help reach their targets, they can replace the diesel forklifts in their warehouses with electric forklifts and incorporate more electric robots to move goods around. Warehouses that ship food can use electric transport refrigeration units. Unlike diesel equipment, these units don’t require trucks to run continuously to stay refrigerated, reducing emissions and expenses.