More than 60 percent of CO2emissions in the United States is related to the direct combustion of fossil fuels in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, and from transportation. EPRI notes that as the electric sector is de-carbonized, as electricity becomes a fuel for transportation, and as fossil-fuel combustion is replaced in the three sectors, overall CO2levels will drop.
The analysis, “The Potential to Reduce CO2Emissions by Expanding End-Use Applications of Electricity,” found two key mechanisms for saving energy and reducing CO2emissions with electric end-use technologies:
- Upgrading existing electric technologies with demand-response measures such as replacing or retrofitting older equipment with highly efficient technologies.
- Expanding end-use applications of electricity that involve replacing less efficient fossil-fueled end-use technologies with more efficient electric end-use ones.
For its analysis, EPRI used the Energy Information Administration’s 2008 Reference Case as a baseline. The EIA document accounts for market-driven efficiency improvements, the impact of federally mandated appliance standards and building codes, and rulemaking procedures. It envisions a relatively flat price for electricity in real dollars between 2008 and 2030, and anticipates continued contributions of existing utility- and government-sponsored end-use energy programs established before 2008. While the analysis shows that the residential sector holds the greatest potential for energy savings and reductions in CO2emissions, the industrial and commercial sectors are roughly comparable.