Electrification for Climate Action: From Houses to Planes

Authors: Paul Parker*, University Of Waterloo
Topics: Energy, Environment
Keywords: electrification, low carbon, climate action
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 28
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Electricity is becoming less carbon intensive in many jurisdictions with the addition of renewable generation capacity. Therefore switching from fossil fuels to electricity as the energy source is promoted as a key climate mitigation action. These fuel switches may appear simple, but it is complicated by multiple technical and human factors. This presentation identifies both the opportunity and need for electrification while also identifying barriers. In Canada, natural gas is the dominant energy source for residential space and water heating. Specialized heat pumps have been identified as a readily available technology to enable electricity to displace gas, but adoption rates are very low. Residential systems are identified as an easy and high priority action. In contrast, aviation is regarded as a fossil fuel based activity where it is difficult to switch fuels. However, new e-planes are available to enter the flight training market. Opportunities and barriers for electrification in each will be explored.

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