Ram Narayanamurthy is the technical lead and program manager for Advanced Buildings at the Electric Power Research Institute.
If we're going to make serious progress decarbonizing the economy, we've just got to do something about buildings. There's just no way to avoid this, as EPRI's lead expert on commercial buildings efficiency — Ram Narayanamurthy — makes it all too clear when you run into him.
It's difficult enough to put up new buildings that are super-efficient. But most of the country's commercial buildings in the year 2030, 2040, and maybe even in 2050 are already built now, in the year 2020. Those existing buildings are particularly difficult to decarbonize. But EPRI is on the case, as Ram can explain what that means here.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What's the latest in building and energy efficiency?
Ram Narayanamurthy: What we're seeing as the big topic is building decarbonization. The key to decarbonization is bringing together efficiency, electrification, and community renewables. Economy-wide decarbonization requires us to transform our current building stock in a way we have never done before.
There are targets set by cities and states on economy-wide decarbonization. You have decarbonization on the grid that's proceeding and progressing fast.
These economy-wide decarbonization targets drive, but also impinge, on transforming buildings today. The utilities are targeting work toward gaining more flexibility within buildings. But the economy targets require deep efficiency.