Dave Elliott: It is often said that, whereas it should be possible to meet electricity needs from renewables, heating was harder and transport harder still. While wind and solar and other renewables can generate electricity, replacing the use of fossil plants, heating and vehicle transport use of fossil fuels are harder to replace. Except possibly by the use of renewable electricity. Although some disagree, there should be enough renewable electricity output to meet all energy needs in time. However, even enthusiasts accept that there may not be enough to go around initially. So there may be sectorial conflicts at some stages. The debate over the right mix continues, with, inevitably, some seeing all this as justification for more nuclear- though that assumes the power could be delivered by the grid to users or stored for when the grid could handle it. However, if EVs are only going to add 10% more power demand by 2050, as some suggest, and EV charging can be delayed to later in the night, then the conflict issues may not be as big as we might fear, with renewables able to cope.
Environmental Research Web 9th Dec 2017 read more »