Electrification is an important concept which describes a possible consumer-based solution to reduce global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are interested in exploring these kind of ideas because we want to find ways to make our business and community more sustainable. In this article we examine electrification – what it is, how it works, and the changes it could make. If you’re on the Sunshine Coast and interested in making your home or business more sustainable, please don’t hesitate to contact our team for some great ideas.
What is Electrification?
When electricity first became available as a means to power households and machines on a large scale, electrification simply meant using electricity to power things.
The concept has evolved from its original meaning to become a word to encapsulate the solution of moving towards clean electrical energy to reduce emissions and reduce global warming.
Electrification is the process of powering things by electricity; it also often means introducing electrical power to replace other power sources.
Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases
A major challenge facing humanity is the increase of the surface temperature of the earth due to greenhouse gas emissions. As gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide increase in the atmosphere, they create ‘the greenhouse effect’, trapping sunlight and increasing the temperature of the earth. [SRC: BOM]
With Carbon Dioxide levels in 2021 being more than 50% greater than the levels measured in 1750 (414 ppm vs 277ppm) and rising, [SRC: BOM] a concerted international approach is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Otherwise, global warming will persist and climate change will not abate. [SRC: BOM] Towards this objective, the Australian government has set the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The Electrification Solution
The electrification solution involves a 2-step shift in the way we use energy:
- Switch from fossil fuel sources and machines to electrical ones
- Power these machines by renewable energy sources such as solar power.
Why it Matters What We Do at Home
In our day-to-day lives, the non-renewable energy sources we use produce a large amount (42%) of Australian greenhouse gases. [SRC: Rewiring Australia ] These types of machines include: petrol cars, gas heaters, gas hot water and gas stoves, and fossil-fuel power plants supplying network electricity. The type of energy we use, and the machines we use, affect our national carbon footprint. Converting these fossil-fuelled machines to electrical versions, and powering them from renewable energy sources would enable us to reduce our carbon footprint.
Electrification and Energy Independence at Home
To achieve electrification at home, it’s essentially about:
1. Supply: Powering your home with renewable solar energy which may include a battery depending on the use case and budget
2. Demand: Phasing out machines within your home that use petrol or gas, and replacing them with efficient electrical versions. Examples include:
- Home energy > Installing a (smart) solar solution
- Petrol Car > Electric Car (ideally with smart charging)
- Gas / Electric Heater > Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning
- Gas Hot Water > Electric Hot Water / Heat Pump
- Gas Stove > Electric Stove / Induction Cooktop
- Fossil-Fuelled Power > Solar Power
- Lighting – Replacing incandescent lighting with energy efficient LED
Moving into the Future
The shift to a net-zero emissions future will require a large technological shift in Australia. We are here to support this shift with energy solutions for homes and businesses in and around Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Contact our team to discuss a solution for your home or business today.