Energy Consumption: This is a four-part series looking at how climate impact is rapidly changing our world and the coming challenges as we make the transition to a future that is climate sustainable.
Transportation and Heating
Washington state is leading the way in decarbonizing the two largest uses of energy in a typical home:
- Fossil-fueled transportation (gasoline, diesel)
- Heating (propane, heating oil, natural gas)
Transportation is the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions at 42.5%. Advancements in electric vehicle (EV) technology in conjunction with the state’s abundant and inexpensive, low-emission electricity, enables the state to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by dramatically increasing the number of electric vehicles on our roads.
- There are currently 43,000 EVs in WA, growing at 71% per year
- Washington’s pending HB 2515, also known as the Clean Cars 2030 bill, requires all new cars sold in Washington to be electric starting in 2030.
- The continued electrification of the state’s transportation system will be vital to meeting the state’s long-term greenhouse gas emission goals.
- About 55% of typical residential energy use is for driving (gasoline).
Heating is the second largest use of energy in a typical home – about 30%, for heating the home and water heating. Some homes use propane, natural gas, or other fossil fuels to heat.
- Converting fossil-fueled driving and heating to clean electric energy is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 72% by 2050.
- And, while it will reduce consumption of fossil fuels significantly, it is estimated that it will increase electric energy load by 37% by 2030.
Decarbonizing energy consumption will make a major reduction of carbon emissions. The combination of decarbonizing energy generation and consumption will present some significant challenges though, including potential energy shortages in the coming decade.