A new electricity era: how to decarbonize energy systems through electrification

January 2017

In a low-carbon power system, electrification could reduce fossil fuel use by at least 10-20% and lead to a 2-4 GT decrease in carbon emissions by 2040. At present, 78% of energy used by key non-power sectors (industry, transport and buildings) comes from fossil fuels, of which 17% comes from electricity generated from fossil fuels. In a world where power generation is decarbonized, extended electrification can help reduce CO2 emissions significantly by accelerating the decarbonization of energy supply and by improving energy productivity. This research paper co-produced by Climate Policy Initiative and Copenhagen Economics for the Energy Transitions Commission maps both the short-term sectoral opportunities and long-term innovations required to expand electrification.