The costs of electrification outweigh the benefits.

The benefits of tackling climate change significantly outweigh the costs of inaction and, among the options available to decarbonise the economy, electrification is often the cheapest.

The benefits of tackling climate change have been shown to exceed the costs of action by a substantial margin. Identifying the least-cost approach is difficult, but several systemic studies clearly show the enormous role that ought to be played by electrification.

A good example of this is the Commission’s own 2018 analysis of scenarios to reduce emissions by between 80-100% by 2050. All of these scenarios show electricity becoming the dominant energy carrier. Under the scenario intended to reflect cost-efficient measures to achieve a 2°C target, electricity’s direct share of final energy demand more than doubles between 2015 and 2050, and is larger still when one accounts for the role of e-fuels. Electricity’s direct share is also larger when more ambitious climate targets are assumed.

Given the enormous role expected of electrification in such attempts to define cost-effect action, and the significant costs of climate change, the benefits of electrification would exceed the costs.

References:

Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, 2007, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817434.

European Commission, “IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS IN SUPPORT OF THE COMMISSION COMMUNICATION COM(2018) 773: A Clean Planet for All A European Long-Term Strategic Vision for a Prosperous, Modern, Competitive and Climate Neutral Economy,” fig. 20.