Electric vehicles will play a major role in delivering a low carbon future – this is just one of many insights published yesterday (13 July) in National Grid’s annual ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ report.
Through smart charging and vehicle-to-grid technologies, this year’s analysis reveals electric vehicles will be able to support the continued growth in renewables by storing excess generation and releasing it back onto the network when it is needed.
Electricity demand to grow
The report, which provides an insight into how we could be using energy in the future and where it could come from, suggests electricity demand is expected to grow significantly by 2050, driven by increased electrification of transport and heating.
There could be as many as 11m electric vehicles on our roads by 2030 and 36m by 2040. The increase in electricity peak demand could be as little as 8GW in 2040 if consumers charge vehicles at off peak times and through vehicle-to-grid technology.
Co-ordinated approach required
In three out of four scenarios, the report says gas continues to provide more energy than electricity by 2050 and remains the dominant form of heating well into the 2030s. However, its usage patterns will change, providing flexibility for both heat and electricity generation, complementing renewables.
Fintan Slye, director, UK System Operator at National Grid, said the continued growth in electric vehicles, a greater volume of low carbon generation and the advance of storage technology, are ‘among the major trends that have emerged from this year’s report’.
Finan added that balancing energy supply and demand ‘will become increasingly complex between now and 2050. The growth of decentralised generation, meeting carbon reduction targets for heat and the continued importance of gas furthers the need for a co-ordinated approach across the whole industry.’