The National Grid has announced that it expects electricity demand in the UK do increase dramatically due to the rise in the use of electric vehicles. The increase could be as much as 18 gigawatt (GW) by 2050, as stated in its report Future Energy Scenarios which it publishes every year.
By 2050, 90% of car sales could be of electric cars, it continues. The projection is that electric cars could reach 1 million by the beginning of the next decade, growing on to 9 million vehicles by 2030. The consequence for electricity would be an increased demand of 3.5 GW.
However this is only one scenario. If people showed a preference for sharing driverless vehicles and charged their cars off-peak, the electricity peak demand might not be higher than 6GW by 2050.
National Grid head of energy insights Marcus Stewart said:
“The scenarios are not predictions, but they aim to be a catalyst for debate, decision making and change, and provide transparency to the wider industry.
“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.”