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Thread by @RichardMeyerDC: "1. I am pleased to be able to share two reports that represent the culmination of a year’s worth of work examining the Implications of Polic […]"

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1. I am pleased to be able to share two reports that represent the culmination of a year’s worth of work examining the Implications of Policy-Driven Residential Electrification & Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Pathways with natural gas technologies.…
2. In recent years, as states and municipalities pursue goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consider “deep decarbonization” strategies, many advocates and policymakers have turned to the concept of *residential electrification* as an emissions reduction strategy.
3. The underlying concept driving these proposals in the assumption that when the electric grid becomes sufficiently low-carbon emitting, conversion of fossil-fuel residential heating and other appliances to electricity can reduce CO2 emissions.
4. While policy-driven residential electrification has been discussed in multiple venues, there has been little or no analysis of the overall costs, benefits, and implications of such policies. This AGA study produced by ICF examines those implications.…
5. Okay, so what is *policy-driven residential electrification*? It refers to direct or indirect regulatory or legislative actions that would require the elimination of natural gas, propane, and fuel oil as options to meet residential heating in favor of electric appliances.
6. We set out to study several key questions on the potential costs and benefits of residential electrification policies. These include:

•Will policy-driven residential electrification actually reduce emissions?
7. •How will policy-driven residential electrification impact natural gas utility customers?

•What will be the impacts on the power sector and on electric transmission infrastructure requirements?
8. •What will be the overall cost of policy-driven residential electrification?


•How do the costs of policy-driven residential electrification compare to other approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
9. Here's what we found.

Potential GHG emission reductions from policy-driven residential electrification are small. Direct-use fuels are only 6% of total GHGs. Under an aggressive electrification policy, total US greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 1 to 1.5 percent.
10. Policy-driven residential electrification will be burdensome to consumers and the economy. We found total costs between $590 billion and $1.2 trillion, or on average about $16,000 to $21,000 per converted household over the lifetime of the equipment.
11. Policy-driven residential electrification could have profound impacts (and costs) on the electric sector, including significant increases in *peak electric demand.*
12. Electrifying all residential natural gas space heating could nearly double the US electric grid’s peak hourly demand and could shift the U.S. electric grid from a summer peaking to a winter peaking system.
13. These new peak requirements would result in the need for major new investments in the electric grid including generation, transmission, and distribution capacity.
14. Policy-driven residential electrification would be a *very* costly approach to emissions reduction. The average cost of U.S. GHG emissions reductions achieved is between $572 and $806 per metric ton of CO2 reduced, which is very high relative to other reduction options.
15. Note: Our costs are almost certainly too conservative, as we did not evaluate the electric distribution requirements needed to meet new electric demand. We also did not grapple with the costs shifted to natural gas customers remaining on the system. And any other costs.
16. At this point, I recommend you go take a look at the study, *Implications of Policy-Driven Residential Electrification.* There's a lot of good analysis worth pondering.…
17. Now for a diversion into some of the wonky parts of the study. The next series of tweets will be about our assumptions in the policy case and key study inputs.
18. What were our major assumptions? First, we defined a policy case: No new fossil fuel furnaces or water heaters would be allowed in residential households starting in 2023 in regions of the country where the policy would lead to reductions in net CO2 emissions.
19. To reiterate our policy case: In 2023, all new homes are built with electric space and water heating equipment. And direct-fuel use space and water heating systems would be replaced with electric systems at the end of the equipment's effective life.
20. The time horizon for the study is 2035, thus the policy impacts are analyzed from 2023 to 2035. Lifetime costs and benefits to households converted during that timeframe are evaluated through 2050.
21. The electrification policy, and thus the pace of conversions of existing households, is consistent with proposals that would replace 100% of fossil fuel use in households with electricity by 2050.
22. The analysis requires assumptions around energy prices, equipment conversion costs, electric grid mix, and energy consumption. The study used projected regional data from the EIA AEO 2017 and other public sources.
23.Remember, the AEO 2017 Reference Case includes the Clean Power Plan, which is a more aggressive electric power sector carbon reductions case than 2017. All policies such as RPS, environmental, efficiency, etc. are incorporated into all our scenarios.
24. We used projections of future costs for renewables and batteries from the California Public Utility Commission. (I argued that we shouldn’t use the AEO costs. Thanks, Energy Twitter!)
25. We developed two generation scenarios to meet the incremental demand associated with residential electrification: Renewables-Only and Marked-Based Generation.
26. The Renewables-only case: All additional generating capacity must be met by a combination of renewable generation and battery storage.
27. Market-based generation case: All new incremental generation capacity is met in the most cost-effective way without limits on fuel choice.
28.We analyzed costs for:

• Household equipment installation
• Household fuel purchases.
• Incremental generation requirements.
• Transmission requirements.
29. We did not analyze:
• Electric distribution requirements and costs
• Natural gas distribution system costs shifted to other customers.
30. The results are presented on a national and regional basis, but this is very much a bottom-up analysis.
31. We analyzed peak hourly demand during the winter to evaluate electricity requirements resulting from the conversion of residential gas, fuel oil, and propane space heating.
32. Our heat pump efficiency used in the study is well above what is currently considered a high-efficiency system. We used temperature data from 220 points to estimate effective heat pump efficiency at different locations on an annual and peak basis.
33. The water heater conversions assume a heat pump water heater with an average efficiency of 200 percent.
34. Okay, that’s enough of the assumptions. Go read the study! Lots of good stuff in there I can’t cover right now.…
35. Electrification policy measures that require the widespread conversion of residential space and water heating would be a costly approach to emissions reductions. So we took this exercise a second step to develop GHG reduction pathways that include natural gas technologies.
36. We wanted to know how natural gas technologies can contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
36. Working with Enovation Partners, we developed a *Gas Technology Pathway Identification* to identify and assess natural gas end-use technologies that could contribute materially to GHG reductions.…
37. They evaluated 100+ innovative gas end-use technologies and identified an emissions reduction potential of 25-40% on a customer basis through the integration of these technologies and efficiency. With renewable natural gas, the emissions reductions could be even greater.
38. In other words: Gas technologies *can* and *should* play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector. Indeed, that has been the trend for the past 40 years!
39. We can do more. We can increase access to high-efficiency natural gas appliances. We can advance RD&D of next-generation gas technologies. And we can develop renewable natural gas.
40.Go read the reports!

Implications of Policy-Driven Residential Electrification:…

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Pathways:…
41.Okay, whew. That’s enough for one tweetstorm. I’ll conclude by saying this:

Let’s take a thoughtful approach to emissions reductions. For me, that means integrating natural gas solutions into long-term resource planning helps achieve emissions reduction goals.
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