Energy Transitions Commission (ETC)

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

As a part of the work Copenhagen Economics did for the Energy Transitions Commission, we analysed the electrification opportunities in transport, buildings and industry.

The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is made up of a broad coalition of stakeholders from the public, private and social sectors with the aim of accelerating change towards low-carbon energy systems that enable economic development, while limiting the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 °C. To enable this, the ETC wanted to provide an objective fact-base and set of insights to inform decision-makers.

The work of the ETC focuses on four transitions strategies. One of these examined how energy systems can be decarbonised through electrification, for which Copenhagen Economics contributed a large part of the analysis.

Based on scenarios for electrification developed by Climate Policy Initiative for the ETC, we explored the implications of widespread electrification using a bottom-up model of the global energy system.

Our analyses included quantifying effects in terms of energy and electricity use, and emissions reductions, as well as the key electrification opportunities and barriers.

The study found that, in a low-carbon power system, electrification can have a significant impact on carbon emissions by 2040, reducing emissions by 10-20% compared to a baseline. In a world where power generation is decarbonized, extended electrification can help reduce CO2 emissions significantly by accelerating the decarbonisation of energy supply and by improving energy productivity.

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