Smart Energy


The Smart Energy

The strategic importance of electrification



Electricity is the most versatile and easily controlled form of energy. At the point of use it is practically loss-free and essentially non-polluting. At the point of generation it can be produced clean with entirely renewable methods, such as wind, water and sunlight.


Electricity is weightless, easier to transport and distribute, and it represents the most efficient way of consuming energy.


Electrification – conversion from using another form of energy to using electricity – is a central tool. The IEC believes that smart electrification – a core competence of the IEC – will be one of the most significant factors in addressing the energy challenge.


An essential strategy for meeting the energy challenge is to concentrate on the generation and use of electricity. A two-pronged approach is required.

  • Energy must be produced in the most efficient1 and least damaging way, without inhibiting economic development. This can be achieved through renewable production, including hydro, large increases in the efficiency of fossil-fuel-based generation (including carbon capture), and advanced nuclear power.
  • Secondly, the delivered electrical energy must be used in the most efficient2 and effective way. A realistic aim is a 30 % reduction in the short term in the energy needed to accomplish any one task and, longer term, much greater improvements. The latter will be based on rethinking the tasks themselves, coupled with advances due to research and development along lines that can already be mapped out today.

What do we mean with "Smart Electrification"?

Smart electrification means using electrical energy to replace other forms of energy, such as fossil fuel. It also means using the advantages electricity offers to make overall better use of energy.


Electricity is basically a no-loss energy. It converts energy into useful power without losses and without pollution. It doesn’t need big trucks to be transported. You can switch it on and off, as needed and there is no exhaust pipe attached to it. Even when it is produced using a coal fired plant, it is at least twice as energy efficient than energy produced with a combustion engine.

Smart electrification will allow us to make better use of energy, reduce emissions and ultimately help mitigate climate change.


  • 1

    In electricity generation, “efficiency” applies both to the output productivity (maximum electricity generated for a given input of primary energy) and to the side effects (minimizing emissions)

  • 2In the use of electricity, efficiency has two complementary aspects: minimizing the power needed to accomplish a given task, and changing or reducing the tasks deemed to be necessary so that less energy is needed.