Electrification Futures Study: Methodological Approaches for Assessing Long-Term Power System Impacts of End-Use Electrification

Yinong Sun, Paige Jadun, Brent Nelson, Matteo Muratori, Caitlin Murphy, Jeffrey Logan, Trieu Mai

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


By its nature, electrification enhances the coupling between the electric sector and end-use sectors. Assessing the impacts of electrification requires both an examination of the complex interactions between sectors and a broader assessment of multiple parts of the energy system. The Electrification Futures Study (EFS) uses several complementary modeling and analysis tools to analyze the impacts of electrification on the U.S. energy system. In particular, the EFS relies on an overarching scenario analysis approach, but through the use of separate modeling approaches designed to assess various electricity demand- and supply-side futures. The primary model employed to generate the supply-side scenarios is the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model, which is a capacity expansion model for the U.S. electricity system through 2050. Traditionally, the model has been primarily exercised in scenario analysis that implicitly assumed limited electrification. Because of this assumption, resulting future load profiles are approximated by historical ones, load growth is driven primarily by population and economic growth only, and changes in direct end-use natural gas consumption do not effect natural gas costs for electricity generation. In this report, we (1) reflect the potential for resource sharing between regions given these changes in demand, (2) represent how changes in natural gas consumption in end-use sectors could impact the economics of natural gas-fired generation, and (3) document a new model representation of demand-side flexibility used for the EFS. These improvements to ReEDS are employed for the EFS supply-wide analysis, which is summarized in a companion EFS report titled Electrification Futures Study: Scenarios of Power System Evolution and Infrastructure Development for the United States (Murphy et al. 2019). The data and methods documented in this report could also be adapted for other models with similar scope and limitations as ReEDS, and these data and methods could be used to assess future electric system scenarios.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages86
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-73336


  • capacity expansion model
  • electrification
  • power systems modeling
  • ReEDS


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