Electric vehicles (EVs) could grow more than twice as fast over the next 10 years as expected just a year ago, potentially posing major challenges for the UK’s electricity grid. That’s according to National Grid’s latest Future Energy Scenarios, published today. The annual report presents a wide range of possible futures, partly in order to flag those challenges, so that they can be planned for and avoided. It does not make forecasts of what is most likely to happen. In one scenario, where 100% of cars go electric but smart charging and shared autonomous vehicles help manage the impact on the grid, peak demand could be limited to around 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2050. This is equivalent to 10% of the current 60GW peak demand on a cold winter’s day. Yet in today’s media reports, several headline writers presented a more extreme scenario – in which no efforts are made to manage the impact of EVs on the grid – as a racing certainty. Carbon Brief runs through the misleading headlines and picks out the other key points raised by this year’s Future Energy Scenarios.
Carbon Brief 13th July 2017 read more »
The growth of electric vehicles (EVs) could add up to 18GW – or 30 per cent – to peak power demand by 2050, National Grid has predicted in its latest Future Energy Scenarios report. Without smart charging, the company says peak demand could grow by as much as 8GW by the end of the next decade due to a “dramatic rise” in sales. The 18GW increase occurs under the “consumer power” scenario that envisions a world in which there is high prosperity but consumers have little inclination to become environmentally friendly. This scenario nevertheless foresees the widespread adoption of electric vehicles due to their desirability and low cost compared to their combustion engine forebears. Peak demand expands by 3.5GW by 2030, or 8GW in the absence of smart charging capabilities. Electric vehicle sales are expected to be even higher in the “two degrees” scenario, which maps the route to meeting all the UK’s emissions reduction targets and replaces the “gone green” scenario from previous reports. In this world, consumers consciously choose to be greener and have the wealth to support their decisions. Despite seeing higher sales of electric vehicles, peak demand increases by just 6GW due to the high level of engagement among consumers – most of whom charge their vehicles at off-times – as well as the rise of shared autonomous vehicles. Without this consumer engagement, the addition to peak demand would be 12GW.
Edie 13th July 2017 read more »
Britain will need to build the equivalent of five Hinkley Point nuclear reactors by the middle of the century to power soaring numbers of electric cars, the National Grid is warning. There could be up to 9million electric vehicles on our roads by 2030, pushing up peak demand for power, the network reports. By 2050 electric vehicles could make up more than 90 per cent of all car sales, creating an extra peak demand of up to 18 gigawatts.
Daily Mail 13th May 2017 read more »
The UK’s solar capacity could soar to as much as 44GW by 2050 if consumers take command of their own power supply, National Grid has forecasted. The UK’s transmission system operator today unveils its Future Energy Scenarios, charting how it considers the UK’s power market might evolve from now until both 2025 and 2050. Using various models and insight, National Grid has compiled four principal scenarios of varying levels of ambition, dubbed ‘Steady State’, ‘Slow Progression’, ‘Consumer Power’ and ‘Two Degrees’. Its most pessimistic scenario Steady State, a word in which security of supply takes precedence and short-term policies are pursued, the UK’s solar capacity will grow to 14.33GW by 2025, an increase of less than 2GW on current levels. Solar capacity will also decrease by 2050 as PV generators are not renewed past their current operational life. However the most ambitious scenario for renewables deployment – ‘Consumer Power’ – expects the majority of UK consumers to become ‘prosumers’ and generate their own power. This will see 23.53GW of solar deployed by 2025 and 44.15GW – a near quadrupling of current levels – by 2050. The two other scenarios forecast more modest growth. Slow Progression puts solar capacity at 17.87GW by 2025 and 31.86GW by 2050, while Two Degrees – designed to reflect 2050 carbon reduction targets – estimating 19.89GW of solar by 2025 and 38GW by 2050.
Solar Power Portal 13th July 2017 read more »
Campaigners have accused the National Grid of failing to live up to the Paris Agreement on climate change after it published a report about how energy supplies might develop in the future. In the report, the private company which runs Britain’s high-voltage electricity network considered four possible scenarios including one called ‘Two Degrees’, saying this was based on the historic Paris accord’s target for the maximum amount of global warming. The other three scenarios sounded grim for those hoping Britain will play its part in the international efforts to prevent the worst effects of climate change. A business-as-usual approach was the “least affluent of the scenarios and the least green”; another scenario contemplated “low economic growth” competing with the “desire to become greener and decrease carbon emissions”; while the fourth foresaw consumers with “more money available to spend” but “little inclination to become environmentally friendly”. Environmental group WWF criticised the company for its lack of ambition, saying it had failed to consider the actual target laid out in the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. This committed signatories to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C … recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”. Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy policy at WWF, said: “[The] assessment by the National Grid is disappointing and shows that the UK needs a better and more ambitious plan for how we meet increased energy demand whilst cutting emissions.
Independent 13th July 2017 read more »