Industrial Electrification

The industrial sector is responsible for ~30% of the U.S. GHG emissions. Today, only 13% of industrial energy use is electrified. For process heating,

which demands over 50% of industrial energy, just 5% of the energy consumed is electric. We have the technical potential, today, to directly electrify the majority of industrial process heat, using a combination of industrial heat pumps, electric resistance heating technologies (e.g. electric boilers), thermal energy storage (heat batteries), as well as numerous specialized and emerging electric technologies. Electrification provides the most efficient technological route to clean manufacturing in most use cases in industrial process heating but requires more upfront planning and in many cases a larger shift in operational strategies than approaches which rely on continued on-site combustion for heating. Even when the economic case for electrification is a winning one in the long term for industry, policy support will still be required to overcome upfront logistical and financial challenges stemming from supply chain complexity, industry inertia, a lack of adaptability in the workforce, and outdated electricity infrastructure.

For more information or to speak with a researcher, please contact our Industry Program.

© 2024 All rights reserved.