EPRI President: US can produce clean energy with little to no emissions by 2050

Arshad Mansoor, President of EPRI

On Thursday, September 17, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) President Arshad Mansoor told energy stakeholders a cleaner electric grid will be the catalyst for the entire U.S. energy sector to produce zero or near-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050.

“The electricity sector is the trailblazer on the road to decarbonization,” Mansoor said. “Right now, 20 percent of the energy used in the U.S. is electricity. By 2040, more than 40 percent of the economy could be electrified.”

“But we need more than electrification to decarbonize the energy system. We have the opportunity to produce other forms of low-carbon energy using clean electricity.”

In a speech to the U.S. Energy Association’s (USEA) 2020 Advanced Energy and Technology Forum, EPRI’s president addressed the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), a collaborative effort across the electric and gas sectors to help drive emissions to zero or near zero by 2050 by advancing existing and emerging low-carbon technologies.

“We know how to produce clean electricity, and we can produce clean energy from clean electrons,” Mansoor said. “Now we’re embarking on this moonshot, our Low-Carbon Resources Initiative.”

Economy-wide decarbonization will require a holistic view across electric and gas grids to deliver resilient, integrated systems providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy across the U.S. and around the world. Through the LCRI, EPRI and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) are already collaborating with more than 20 companies worldwide to advance research, development, and deployment of low-carbon technologies, including nuclear energy and renewables. Such efforts would benefit the public through cleaner energy that supports reduced air pollution, healthier quality of life, and environmental protection. 

“This level of industry engagement is just the start,” said Mansoor. “We expect to work with more than 100 companies through the initiative, and to leverage its $100 million funding target many times over through public and private collaboration.”

LCRI also includes research, testing, and technology demonstrations for large-scale use of low-carbon energy carriers – hydrogen, ammonia, synthetic fuels, and biofuels – and processes such as blending hydrogen in natural gas pipelines, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies.

Mansoor said, “The industry initiative is designed to bring together the U.S. Department of Energy, national labs, universities and startup companies to uncover emerging, low-carbon technologies and enable their application at scale in the energy industry through coordinated research and development.”

Before his speech, Mansoor took a moment to recognize the recent passing of USEA’s late executive director, Barry Worthington. 

“Barry was a pragmatist and we appreciate that he saw, that he magnified, the nexus between energy expansion and technology development in this forum,” Mansoor said.

Under Worthington’s leadership, USEA launched the inaugural Advanced Energy Technology Forum in 2019. At the inaugural event last summer, USEA awarded EPRI CEO Mike Howard the USEA Energy Award, for his lifetime contribution to, and his achievement in, guiding the development of innovative energy technologies with global applications.

To learn more about the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, visit www.LowCarbonLCRI.com and follow the hashtag, #LowCarbonLCRI, on social media.  

EPRI’s VP of Communications, Katie Jereza will be giving a keynote presentation this Wednesday to start off DISTRIBUTECH +, the series of virtual events that offer attendees a look at the great content that is presented each year at our annual in-person event. Learn more and register today!

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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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