forces—environmental and economic sustainability—will result in continued emphasis and accelerated interest.
EPRI's research spans the spectrum from demand-side reduction (e. g. cool and heat storage and the demand component of end-use efficiency) to improved efficiency of electric end use (e.g. more efficient lighting, motors, variable speed drives, heating/cooling via advanced heat pumps) to beneficial substitution of electricity for other end-use energy forms. In fact, it appears that the wiser use of electricity coupled with the wider use of electricity will offer the best practical opportunity to reduce carbon-based greenhouse gas emissions in the coming century. To date, specific new electrotechnologies, by virtue of their flexibility and efficiency at the point of end use, have been quite successful in process industries (infrared drying, freeze concentration, plasma arc furnaces) from productivity, efficiency, and environmental standpoints. EPRI is devoting considerable effort to research in those potential electrotechnologies which are likely to meet the “beneficial” measure.
While I have alluded to end-use efficiency and beneficial electrification in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors, we also expect to see very significant advances in the transportation sector. The recently formed advanced battery consortium is a very visible manifestation of the seriousness of the effort in the U.S. to produce an electrically powered vehicle option. This is in addition to EPRI's Research and Development program that has culminated in the production and current field evaluation of electric vans. Beyond the electric vehicle efforts, environmentally driven interest in further electrification of mass transportation is likely to intensify in the next decade. My personal sense is that the developments flowing from these efforts will have secondary fall out efficiency and productivity benefits in the entire electric system.
I conclude by emphasizing that energy efficiency and productivity are themes so encompassing and pervasive that they will continue to have a profound impact on virtually every aspect of energy technology and on EPRI research.