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Electrification & Growth Opportunities

The Brattle Group’s experts are at the forefront of analyzing the opportunities and challenges related to increased electrification of the economy. We have a deep understanding of the market and regulatory fundamentals that will affect the pace and impact of electrification and drive future decision making across the electric sector.

Electrification of transportation and heating introduces the possibility of electric utilities playing a rapidly increasing and central role in the future energy system. With widespread electrification, electric utilities could replace the roles of fossil fuel companies in providing energy to the heating and transportation sectors.  The results could be transformational for the industry, with sustained load growth and new investments necessary in charging equipment, grid infrastructure, and generation resources. These changes will require taking a fresh look at how resource decisions are made and how electric rates are set to take advantage of the new opportunities while properly accounting for the costs.

Utilities, investors, technology firms, project developers, system operators, and regulators rely on our team of experts to tackle their most challenging electrification issues. Our client engagements draw on our depth of knowledge, modeling tools, and understanding of markets and regulation.

Our electrification modeling platform is built specifically to evaluate the economics and operations of electrification and their impact on the electric sector. We use this tool to provide clients with insights about the impact of electrification on their business, including helping them better understand the drivers of electric vehicle (EV) adoption, the potential speed and scale of transport and building electrification, the implications of new load patterns on their load shapes, the development of EV charge rates, and the development of benefit-cost metrics that go beyond the traditionally-applied benefit-cost tests.

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Electrification & Growth Opportunities practice.

Drivers of EV adoption and EV adoption modeling

For EPRI, we are currently developing a survey and associated discrete choice modeling environment to better understand drivers of EV adoption in several representative regions of the United States. The project team includes Nobel Laureate Daniel McFadden, a Brattle principal and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Professor Kenneth Train of the University of California, Berkeley. The survey results will be used to develop EV adoption models and resulting forecasts for several U.S. electric utilities.

Rate design options for fast charging

Brattle experts are currently preparing a whitepaper for a large industry group to assess options and experience with rate design for fast charging infrastructure to support adoption of EVs.

Electrification cost-effectiveness

For a large research organization, we are developing a methodology for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of ratepayer-funded electrification programs. Our research involves a review of the literature on demand-side resource cost-effectiveness tests, interviews with industry experts on cost-effectiveness and electrification, and the publication of a report summarizing the findings and key recommendations.

System dynamics modeling of EV demand and load impacts

Brattle assisted Commonwealth Edison in developing an integrated model of supply and demand for light-duty EVs and resulting load impacts. We segmented the car buyer population into archetypal customer groups differentiated by demographics and vehicle preferences, with a multinomial logit function to define the probability of a customer in any given segment choosing an EV over a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Our representation of EV production capacity and supply was structured to evolve endogenously within the model in response to changes in demand and constraints on the rate of capacity expansion. We evaluated the extent and pace of EV adoption under a range of potential technology improvement trajectories and policy scenarios. The Brattle analysis also quantified the magnitude of load and peak impacts from EV charging under different vehicle usage and rate structure paradigms (e.g. home- vs. workplace-charging, individual vs. fleet vehicles, flat volumetric vs. time-of-use rates).

Experts
Publications
Report
Getting to 20 Million EVs by 2030: Opportunities for the Electricity Industry in Preparing for an EV Future
June 2020
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

The study concludes that an investment in the range of $75–125 billion will be needed across the electric power sector supply chain by 2030 to serve 20 million EVs, including adding 1–2 million public chargers.

Publication
Accelerating to 80: Driving the Northeast's Deep Decarbonization Targets
March 9, 2020
Highlights from the Northeast Region Emissions Reduction Summit
Report
Identifying Likely Electric Vehicle Adopters
December 2019
Prepared with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Report
Residential Electric Vehicle Time-Varying Rates That Work: Attributes That Increase Enrollment
November 2019
Ryan Hledik, Erika H. Myers, Jacob Hargrave, Richard Farinas, and Lauren Burke
Prepared for the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
Report
The Total Value Test: A Framework for Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Efficient Electrification
August 2019
Published by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Presentation
Assessing the Economics of Electrification: Principles and Case Studies
June 27, 2019
Ahmad Faruqui, Ryan Hledik, and John Higham
Presented by John Higham
Report
The Coming Electrification of the North American Economy: Why We Need a Robust Transmission Grid
March 2019
María Castañer, Jürgen Weiss, and Michael Hagerty
Prepared for WIRES

A report authored by Brattle economists and prepared for WIRES finds that the growing electrification of end uses currently powered by fossil fuels will significantly increase electricity demand in North America.  

Article
Electrification: EU Opportunities for Utility Growth
June 18, 2018
Jürgen Weiss, Maria Castaner, and Tony Lee
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

The paper discusses a variety of opportunities for growth in utility sales in Europe.

Presentation
Extreme Electrification of Transportation Industry
April 19, 2018
Presented to the Western Interstate Energy Board, Vancouver, British Columbia
Article
The Electrified Future is Shared: Mobility Services Could Change Electrification's Pace, Shape
February 2018
This article appeared in the Mid-February 2018 issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Permission granted by publisher.

The article discusses how mobility services could change electrification’s pace and shape.

Article
The Electrification Accelerator: Understanding the Implications of Autonomous Vehicles for Electric Utilities
January 04, 2018
Will Gorman, Jürgen Weiss, Ryan Hledik, Roger Lueken, and Tony Lee
Published in The Electricity Journal

This article discusses the implications autonomous vehicles, ride sharing/ride hailing, and electric vehicles (EVs) may have for electric utilities and the utility business model.

Presentation
Electrification: Opportunities for Multiple Win Wins (Executive Forum)
October 05, 2017
Presented to Executive Forum: Business Collaboration to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Markets
Presentation
Electrification: Opportunities and Challenges
September 13, 2017
Presented at the Clean Energy Legislative Academy
Presentation
Electrification: Emerging Opportunities for Load Growth
April 03, 2017
Presented at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) Conference on Transportation Electrification
Report
Electrification: Emerging Opportunities for Utility Growth
January 24, 2017
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

The whitepaper shows the potential for U.S. utility sales to nearly double by 2050 while energy sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could decrease by 70 percent or more through the electrification of transportation and heating.

News & Knowledge
June 24, 2020
Electric Power Sector Investments of $75–125 Billion Needed to Support Projected 20 Million EVs by 2030, According to Brattle Economists

A new study released today by economists at The Brattle Group concludes that an investment in the range of $75–125 billion will be needed across the electric power sector supply chain by 2030 to serve 20 million EVs, including adding 1–2 million public chargers.

March 09, 2020
Brattle Co-Hosts Stakeholder Summit on Reducing GHG Emissions in the Northeast

In conjunction with Mintz and the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), The Brattle Group recently co-hosted the Northeast Region Emissions Reduction Summit, a half-day program dedicated to addressing the Northeast region’s ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

March 06, 2020
Summary of Survey Identifying Likely Electric Vehicles Adopters Published by Brattle and EPRI

A team of Brattle economists worked alongside the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to conduct a survey that provides insight regarding demographic characteristics of likely electric vehicle (EV) adopters.

March 05, 2020
Michael Hagerty Discussed the Grid of the Future at NECA Renewable Energy Conference

Brattle Senior Associate Michael Hagerty joined a panel discussion on the grid of the future at the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association (NECA) Renewable Energy Conference, which took place March 5 in Auburndale, MA.

November 13, 2019
Framework Proposed by Brattle and EPRI Provides a Regulatory Standard for Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Electrification Programs

Electric utilities and energy regulators can take a proactive role in facilitating the transition to an electrified and decarbonized economy. Brattle Principals Ryan Hledik, Ahmad Faruqui, Jürgen Weiss; Senior Associate Michael Hagerty; and Associate Long Lam have discussed how a new approach can help, in a recent American Bar Association (ABA) Environment, Energy & Resources Section article.

October 29, 2019
Michael Hagerty Moderated Utility Perspectives Panel at EV Charging Infrastructure Conference

Brattle Senior Associate Michael Hagerty moderated a panel on utility perspectives at the Global Transmission Report Conference on EV Charging Infrastructure, which was held October 29–30 in New York City.

August 13, 2019
Brattle Economists Develop Report with EPRI on the Total Value Test for Evaluating Electrification Opportunities

Brattle economists have developed a new report with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) introducing the Total Value Test (TVT), which provides utilities and regulators with a more accurate, comprehensive framework for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of electrification opportunities.

July 31, 2019
Ryan Hledik to Present at SEPA Grid Evolution Summit

Brattle Principal Ryan Hledik will speak at the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Grid Evolution Summit, which will be held July 29–August 1 in Washington, DC.

May 07, 2019
Judy Chang and Jurgen Weiss to Present at EBA Annual Conference

Brattle Principals Judy Chang and Jurgen Weiss will speak at the Energy Bar Association (EBA) Annual Meeting & Conference, to be held May 6-7 in Washington, DC. 

March 08, 2019
Brattle Economists: Additional Transmission Investment Needed to Cost-Effectively Support Growth of Electrification in North America

A new report authored by Brattle economists and prepared for WIRES finds that the growing electrification of end uses currently powered by fossil fuels will significantly increase electricity demand in North America. 

January 03, 2019
Brattle Economists Present Solutions to Increase EV Fast Charging Station Deployment

Brattle Principals Ryan Hledik and Jurgen Weiss have prepared a report for the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), titled “Increasing Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Deployment: Electricity Rate Design and Site Host Options.” The report discusses options to increase the deployment of direct current fast charging (DCFC) infrastructure and facilitate broader adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

October 12, 2018
Ryan Hledik to Present at EEI Strategic Issues Roundtable

Brattle Principal Ryan Hledik will speak at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Strategic Issues Roundtable, to be held October 10-12 in Pittsburgh, PA.

July 18, 2018
Brattle Consultants Win Best Paper Award at Electrify Europe Conference

A paper authored by Brattle consultants has received the “Best Paper Award” at the Electrify Europe conference in Vienna, Austria.

July 16, 2018
Brattle to Host Event on Electrification at NARUC Summer Policy Summit

The Brattle Group will host a dinner discussion event on electrification at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Policy Summit.

July 15, 2018
Brattle Principals to Speak at NARUC Summer Policy Summit

Brattle Principals Judy Chang and Jurgen Weiss will speak at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Policy Summit to be held July 15-18, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ.

June 19, 2018
Jurgen Weiss to Present at Electrify Europe Conference

Brattle Principal Jurgen Weiss will present at the Electrify Europe conference, to be held June 19-21, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

June 18, 2018
Brattle Consultants Author Paper on Electrification and Utility Growth in Europe

Brattle Principal Jurgen Weiss and Research Analysts Maria Castaner and Tony Lee have authored a paper, “Electrification: EU Opportunities for Utility Growth.”

February 14, 2018
Jürgen Weiss Discusses the Implications of Mobility Services on Electrification in Public Utilities Fortnightly

Brattle Principal Jürgen Weiss has authored an article published in Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF) 2.0, “Electrification 2018: Driving the Future, This Year,” which discusses how mobility services could change electrification’s pace and shape.

January 04, 2018
Brattle Economists Author Article Discussing the Implications of Autonomous Vehicles for Electric Utilities

Brattle economists have co-authored an article published in The Electricity Journal discussing the implications autonomous vehicles, ride sharing/ride hailing, and electric vehicles (EVs) may have for electric utilities and the utility business model.

February 22, 2017
Brattle Whitepaper on Benefits of Transportation and Heating Electrification Featured in Vox Article

A whitepaper recently released by Brattle economists on the role transportation and heating electrification could play in increasing utility sales and reducing carbon emissions has been featured in a February 22, 2017 Vox article.

January 24, 2017
Transportation and Heating Electrification Could Aid in Increasing Utility Sales and Reducing Carbon Emissions, According to Brattle Economists

Brattle economists released a whitepaper that shows the potential for U.S. utility sales to nearly double by 2050 while energy sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could decrease by 70 percent or more through the electrification of transportation and heating.