Electrification Strategy EU
EUSEW: Join to discuss electrification
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Electrification - Myth Busters
Infeasibility of Electrification
Credible decarbonisation pathways to 2050 do not assume extensive electrification.
The limited supply of rare earth materials makes extensive electrification infeasible.
Some industrial processes, like those requiring combustion, cannot be electrified.
Electrification is not a viable alternative to fossil fuel use for heating and transport in rural areas.
Agriculture requires liquid fuels and therefore cannot be electrified.
There aren’t enough people with the necessary technical qualifications to electrify the economy.
Space travel requires combustion and therefore cannot be electrified.
Electrifying Europe (EEA) would not significantly reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Electricity generation will always be somewhat carbon intensive.
Other EU Policy Objectives
Electrification supports existing businesses rather than stimulating new innovations, industries and export opportunities.
Economic recovery is the immediate policy imperative –electrification must wait.
We should pursue energy efficiency rather than electrification.
Electrification will add to waste, for example from the use of batteries in transport.
Extensive electrification would entail an unacceptable risk to European energy security.
Guarantees of Origin are distorting the EU electricity market.
Grid and technical
Extensive electrification implies prohibitive increases in network costs.
Inverters, used for battery charging, harm the quality of the AC power supplied by the grid. Scaling up the number of inverters while maintaining grid supplies will prove a major challenge.
Electrification entails safety risks, for example, related to electrical fires.
Generation and supply
The scale of generation required isn’t feasible given the limited availability of space and raw materials.
Renewable generation cannot be ramped up to meet peak demand, meaning that fossil-fuel backup capacity will still be required.
Enormous quantities of generation will need to be curtailed and thus wasted.
Full-scale electrification would require the construction of new nuclear capacity.
Full-scale electrification would require the construction of new generation capacity, like hydropower, that would entail irreparable damage to the environment.
Electricity isn’t a viable means to power trucks, ships and planes.
Electric vehicles are only practical for short-distance transport.
Current market mechanisms cannot provide sufficient charging infrastructure for electric transport.
The mass use of electric transport is impossible without technological standardisation.
Electric vehicles pose a greater fire safety risk than conventional transportation.
Car manufacturing jobs will be put at risk.
Costs, Benefits and Distributional Impacts
The costs of electrification outweigh the benefits.
At some point, further electrification won’t be cost-effective.
Electrification, and especially the electrification of transport and domestic heating, imposes unjust costs on those least able to pay.
Electrification would require excessive public subsidy.
It would be better to reuse our existing natural gas infrastructure, for example, to transport hydrogen.
Hydrogen is the better technology for energy storage.
District heating is a better means to decarbonise heat supply than electrification.
Any health benefits from electrification are minor.
Electricity bills will rise.
In a system with lots of renewable generation with zero fuel cost, the current market mechanisms for establishing price will cease to function.
Existing markets for flexible demand and generation won’t be able to provide the necessary flexibility.
All-Electric Europe movement
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Generation and supply