The term “electrification” means converting the way a machine or system operates to the use of electrical power. It has been acclaimed as a key pathway to combatting climate change. Electrification replaces technologies that use fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) with technologies that use electricity as a source of energy and it helps reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from transportation, building, and industrial sectors, which accounts for majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing emissions from these sectors is critical to decarbonizing the economy and, ultimately, mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Electrification is happening all around us through distributed renewable energy systems that can provide fast backup power during natural calamities, making the energy system more resilient. Electrification of communities leveraging renewable energy can provide electricity access for all, while reducing electricity costs for consumers. Decarbonized and decentralized power generation systems that do not require pricey, massive and logistically challenging transmission networks in remote terrains would further the goal of total electrification particularly in rural communities. Decentralized solar energy solutions are increasingly considered for bringing reliable electricity to communities, especially in climate vulnerable areas. Similarly, the increase in electric vehicle manufacturing is another example of the rise of electrification. In 2021, many leading auto manufacturers have already made significant commitments to producing electric vehicles that will substantially alter their portfolio of cars on the market. Safe adoption and use of electrification will transform societies while reducing the impacts of climate change!