With up to 9 million EVs are expected to be on the roads by 2030, will the UK’s charging infrastructure be able to cope? The short answer is, “No – not at current projections”.
So what is the UK government planning to do about it?
“National Grid estimates that electricity peak demand could be as high as 85GW in 2050, compared to around 60GW today, driven by a host of factors, including: one million electric vehicles by the early 2020s, and possibly nine million by 2030.”
Three drawbacks to the existing charging infrastructure
Scrapping of the FiT scheme
The Feed in Tariff ‘FiT’scheme was adjudged to no longer offer value for money for UK taxpayers as renewable energy costs continued to decline.
The Consultation Paper (July 2018) highlighted that the cost of:
- Solar power has fallen by 80% (since 2008);
- Lithium-ion batteries have fallen by 70% (since 2010);
- Onshore wind has fallen by 50% (since 2009).
However, the FiT scheme was adjudged responsible for a huge amount of the increase in solar power generation capacity (4.8GW).
What will future growth in solar power look without this government incentive?
Large-scale electricity generators were favoured in the past…
Respondents to the Consultation Paper (July 2018) highlighted that the routes to market for exported electricity were currently limited and favoured larger capacity generators.
Large scale electricity generators are still favoured going forwards…
The majority of solar projects announced post-FiT (i.e. subsidy-free) have either been:
- Very large installations with economies of scale (such as Cleve Hill, 350MW); or
- Projects that have benefitted from favourable site characteristics such as easy access to an existing grid connection or a strong commercial case for co-location with storage (Clay Hill, 10MW)
With the scrapping of the FiT scheme, an important incentive has now been removed from the market for small-scale electricity generation.
The UK government recognises this fact and is currently consulting on introducing a mandatory supplier-led route to market: the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Under the SEG (due to come into force 1 Jan 2020), suppliers would remunerate small-scale low-carbon generators for the electricity they export to the grid.