The real cost of an electric future
According to a recently published report by the National Grid, power demand in the UK could see an incredible 18-gigawatt increase by 2050 – and it’s all down to electric cars.
With sales expected to soar by a massive 90 percent over the next 33 years, the power transmission network believes that these vehicles are likely to push peak UK power demand up by a truly phenomenal amount.
This prediction was contained within the National Grid’s 2017 Future Energy Scenarios publication, which suggested that electric motors would make up nine tenths of the vehicles sold by 2050, catalysing a much greater demand for energy.
Such a sharp rise in electric vehicles sales would supposedly grow electricity demand by eight gigawatts at peak times in the space of just 13 years, so that by 2030, the National Grid would be well on its way to having to supply an additional 18 gigawatts two decades later. Peak demand for electricity in Britain is currently just 60 gigawatts in total.
The report also suggests that with an increasing focus on cutting greenhouse gases becoming a priority, driverless car sharing may soon account for around 50 percent of all vehicles on the roads.
However, despite this dramatic growth in the number of electric vehicles in use, increasing the demand for energy, the National Grid says that such motors are likely to require less electricity to run than those currently in existence.
Their prediction is that due to the probable advances in technology between now and 2050, charge times and consumption will be reduced for such future vehicles, meaning there will be less of a demand increase than a rise in the popularity of existing electric cars would necessitate.
As the Head of Energy Insights at the National Grid, Marcus Stewart, explains: “Electric vehicles are one of many new technologies that are rapidly transforming the energy sector. Technical progress and cost reductions in storage and solar panels have driven major change in a short space of time.
“This new era of network operation is exciting and manageable, but it’s important there is investment in smart technologies and electricity infrastructure, and a coordinated approach across the whole electricity system.”
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