The Biden Administration in the U.S. has set a goal of achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, which among other things means that U.S. households, and the appliances and machines that run within them, will need to be powered almost entirely by carbon-free electricity. A practical implication of that goal is that about 1 billion machines in homes across the nation will need to be replaced or converted from fossil-powered to electric within the next 3 decades. It sounds like a lot - but is it?
A recent report from the nonprofit Rewiring America examined how quickly high-efficiency, electric technologies – like heat pumps, EV vehicles and induction stoves – are replacing sales of their fossil-powered counterparts, and compared that to what needs to happen this year, next year, and over the next five years to ensure that American homes are on track to decarbonize. So are we on track? What needs to happen in the near-term to ensure we reach our mid-century decarbonization goals? And what are the most impactful upgrades that people can make to their homes to support the decarbonization movement? Rewiring America’s Director of Research Cora Wyent and Head of Market Transformation Stephen Pantano sat down with Climate Now to break it down.