Next Article in Journal
Observed Trends in Thermal Stress at European Cities with Different Background Climates
Next Article in Special Issue
Characteristics of Spherical Organic Particles Emitted from Fixed-Bed Residential Coal Combustion
Previous Article in Journal
Monitoring Tropospheric Gases with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) during the Second CLOUDMAP Flight Campaign
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Establishment of the Household Air Pollution Consortium (HAPCO)
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Decarbonizing Space and Water Heating in Temperate Climates: The Case for Electrification

Department of Environmental Sciences, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 435;
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 27 July 2019
PDF [662 KB, uploaded 10 August 2019]


In order to meet ambitious carbon reduction goals, direct combustion of fossil fuels in homes will need to largely cease. The largest portion of this reduction will likely come from energy efficiency, but efficiency alone will not be sufficient. In this paper we look specifically at California and build the case for why energy efficiency with electrification of heating is the most likely path to achieve the large carbon emission reduction needed from this sector. We examine alternative decarbonization strategies, such as solar thermal, biogas, synthetic natural gas and electrification and show why electrification is the most promising path. We evaluate these options across the dimensions of scale, cost, and suitability. We find that, while electrification has the potential to serve all heating loads, the other low-carbon options may serve only 2–70% of loads. We also expect that electrification could reduce emissions from this sector at a cost 25–90+% less than other options. View Full-Text
Keywords: decarbonization; electrification; heat pump; biogas; hydrogen; synthetic methane decarbonization; electrification; heat pump; biogas; hydrogen; synthetic methane

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Sheikh, I.; Callaway, D. Decarbonizing Space and Water Heating in Temperate Climates: The Case for Electrification. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 435.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top