Glossary entry


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Option 1 (broad application)

Electrification means [the process of] converting or replacing infrastructure, machines, appliances, devices and other objects which are powered by a Finite Power Source so that electricity is used as a permanent replacement power source.

Option 2

Electrification means the converting of a [town] [village] [region] [rural/remote population] to a[n] [on-grid] [mini-grid] [off-grid] electrical power source.

Option 3 (rail transport-specific)

Electrification in Rail Transport means the provision of an electrical power supply to previously non-electrified railway lines using overhead power lines [or an electrified third rail system].

Related term

Finite Power Source means a power source which is reliant on hydrocarbons.

Drafting notes

Option 1 is a broad definition of electrification. It refers to the general transition to electricity as a power source across a wide range of applications but particularly transportation and heating. In the context of net zero, the general assumption is the primary motivation for electrification is a reduction in carbon emissions. The degree to which Electrification results in reduced carbon emissions depends on how the electricity used is generated. Drafters should ensure that obligations to purchase electric vehicle fleets or systems powered by electricity are accompanied by a corresponding obligation to power those vehicles/ systems with electricity generated from renewables.

Option 2 is a term used in infrastructure project development and investment.

Option 3 provides a rail transport-specific definition. Specific definitions can also be drafted for other sectors (e.g. road transport). The ‘third rail element’ of this definition may be phased out over time as third rail electrification is increasingly seen as a hindrance to faster rail travel (trains running on third rail systems can travel at top speeds of 100mph as opposed to 125mph using overhead power lines). As such, this aspect of the definition is placed in square brackets as optional.


National climate laws, construction contracts, consumer goods contracts, private transport franchising obligations, corporate social responsibility (CSR) documents, public sector fleet procurement agreements.

Electrification is used in the following TCLP clauses:

[Ashkan’s Clause] Sustainable On Site Working Practices.