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Battery storage means that solar and wind power could meet needs of growing electric car market

Telegraph 26th July 2017, Do we have enough power to deal with the growth in electric vehicles?
National Grid has warned that the boom in the number of people charging up
their cars could result in a surge in peak demand, requiring hundreds of
billions of pounds worth of investment in new power plants – unless the
electric vehicle revolution is properly managed.

In one scenario National Grid estimates that electric vehicles alone could cause peak power demand
to climb by 1.3 GW a year between 2025 and 2045. This would require the
UK’s shrinking generation capacity to grow by the equivalent of two large
gas-fired power units a year or one £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear plant
every three years. By 2030 the UK would need 8GW, almost three extra
Hinkley projects, to meet the need of drivers who choose to top up their
vehicles during peak hours.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to accommodate the charge-up demand which could cut the extra power needed by
more than half to a more manageable 3GW increase by the end of the next
decade while saving consumers money. Earlier this week Business Secretary
Greg Clarke fired the starting gun on a battery boom through a £246m
research and development competition, and a new plan to put home batteries
at the heart of its industrial strategy.

The support should help the electric vehicle drive, but also help the energy system to cope with the
higher demand caused by the fleet of new cars. A heady roll out of electric
vehicles is expected to drive the cost of battery storage down at an even
faster rate than expected, meaning drivers could be parking their electric
cars next to affordable home batteries, which are linked to cheap solar

Currently consumers are only able to use around 30pc of the power
generated by solar panels because their demand picks up once the sun is
setting. But the battery boom means energy users can store the unused solar
power generated during the day to charge their cars at night, saving money
and easing the pressure on the grid.

Major wind farms, including the giant Burbo Bank project off the Liverpool coast, are already connected to
batteries so that energy stored during windy nights can power homes when
demand lifts in the morning. Using renewable energy more effectively also
means costs will fall too. The shift in economics is expected to trigger a
deluge of fresh investment into renewable power projects, without the need
for subsidies. The cumulative impact of more renewable power – and better
use of it – could help meet the demand created by electric vehicles in the
first place.


July 28, 2017 - Posted by | energy storage, UK

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