According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Net Zero Scenario electrification would avoid 1Gt of CO2 emissions in 2030 and would account for 7% of mitigated emissions between 2020 and 2030. Electrification may lead you to think about electric cars and space heating, aspects of two of the largest emissions-producing sectors, but it isn’t limited to that. One of the things Mountain Burger has decided to electrify is the griddle in the kitchen.
While electric appliances still produce emissions from energy production, they eliminate the emissions produced onsite by the combustion of fossil fuels. This is a similar benefit to electric cars which don’t produce tailpipe emissions (you can think of that as the onsite combustion) and helps reduce emissions and promote healthier air quality.
Eliminating the onsite emissions from fuel combustion reduces Scope 1 emissions which make up about 8% of Mountain Burger’s total emissions. The griddle still requires energy that comes from the grid and is produced offsite which may increase Scope 2 emissions (accounting for merely 2% of total emissions). However, using renewable energy sources to power the griddle avoids emissions from non-renewable energy sources like the gas that was used prior to switching the griddle. Mountain Burger is a participant in the Blue Sky Program in order to use renewable energy.
Electrification can have negative impacts if the appliances do not use renewable energy sources. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lists the Carbon Dioxide Emissions Coefficients by Fuel which compares emissions for different fuel types. For example, the EIA reports that propane emits 62.88 kg of CO2 per million Btu while coal emits 96.10 kg of CO2 per million Btu, making propane a less CO2 emission-intensive fuel. This list is for CO2 only, not CO2e- which is carbon dioxide equivalent (a common measurement for emissions calculations) and accounts for multiple greenhouse gasses rather than carbon dioxide only.
That being said, if you use energy on the grid produced from a coal-fired power plant, then emissions would be higher by using an electric appliance rather than one that uses propane onsite. This exemplifies the key aspect being the fuel source and replacing an appliance with an electric alternative as the vehicle to use renewable energy.
The electric griddle is just one of many actions to move Mountain Burger towards net-zero emissions so you can dine sustainably.