Working Paper

The Electric Ceiling: Limits and Costs of Full Electrification

Abstract: Electrification is a centerpiece of global decarbonization efforts. Yet there are reasons to be skeptical of the inevitability, or at least the optimal pace, of the transition. We discuss several under-appreciated costs of full, or even deep, electrification. Consumer preferences can operate in favor of and in opposition to electrification goals; and electrification is likely to encounter physical and economic obstacles when it reaches some as-yet-unknown level. While we readily acknowledge the external benefits of decarbonization, we also explore several under-appreciated external costs. The credibility and eventual success of decarbonization efforts is enhanced by foreseeing and ideally avoiding predictable but non-obvious costs of promising abatement pathways. Thus, even with all of its promise, the degree of electrification may ultimately reach a limit.

Keywords: Electrification;

JEL Classification: L43; Q40;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2022-10-21

Number: 2220