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Ana Sophia Mifsud's picture
Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute

Ana Sophia is a Senior Associate within the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Building Electrification team where she engages with policymakers, NGOs, utilities, and other stakeholders in Central...

  • Member since 2020
  • 2 items added with 3,413 views
  • Sep 3, 2020
  • 3413 views

There are three key conclusions to this analysis:

Illinois needs to phase fossil fuels out of buildings to meet its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement: Direct fossil fuel combustion in buildings accounts for 18% of Illinois’ energy-related carbon emissions.

Electrification saves emissions: Recent improvements in the electric grid and heat pump technology make heat pumps an emissions-savings intervention over their lifetime even with conservative assumptions about the future growth of renewable energy in the state.

Pursuing 100% clean electricity will significantly increase emissions savings related to building electrification: Achieving 100% renewable energy on the grid by 2050 would result in 46% more emissions savings in the buildings sector than a lower renewable energy scenario.

Read the blog here or download the research note here.

 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 3, 2020

Electrification saves emissions: Recent improvements in the electric grid and heat pump technology make heat pumps an emissions-savings intervention over their lifetime even with conservative assumptions about the future growth of renewable energy in the state.

I imagine there could be substantial variation depending on the state according to the grid mix, the types of heating fuel actively used, the amount of heating degree days, and many more factors-- do you think it's just the degree to which there are carbon emissions in each region or might there be certain locations/regions/grids for which the scales have not yet tipped to where building electrification has a net positive impact on emissions?

Ana Sophia Mifsud's picture
Ana Sophia Mifsud on Sep 3, 2020

Hey, Matt, you are right it totally depends on the carbon intensity of the grid where the heat pumps are and the heating demand in each state. We did an analysis for the entire United States that explored the lifetime emissions of a heat pump in every state.  This study is specific to Illinois and goes into more detail exploring a variety of grid transition scenarios. 

If you are interested in the national analysis, feel free to check it out here:  https://rmi.org/its-time-to-incentivize-residential-heat-pumps/ This analysis accounted for performance in the state's weather and grid intensity in each state. Our results show that for 99% of the U.S. population, heat pumps are emissions savings today!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 3, 2020

Exactly what I was looking for-- thanks for the additional resource, Ana!

Ana Sophia Mifsud's picture
Thank Ana Sophia for the Post!
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