white exec wrote: ↑14 Jul 2017, 07:13National Grid just need to rise to this very predictable challenge. I'm sure they'd rather not, but concentrate on maximising profits instead. This sort of tactic just didn't happen when the grid was created, and massively expanded in national ownership. Sorry, but they speak with forked tongue.
Misleading article, in at least two ways.
If we take their 8GW figure at face value my first question is why would charging cars at off peak times reduce the peak demand to 3.5GW ? Surely regardless of when during the day you charge you car, it takes the same amount of electricity to charge the car for the same daily mileage ?If electric vehicles were not charged smartly to avoid peaks and troughs in power demand, such as when people return home between 5pm and 6pm, peak demand could be as much as 8GW higher in 2030, National Grid said.
Shifting the charging of cars to times when demand is lower would reduce the extra peak demand to 3.5GW, a smaller amount but still a similar capacity to the new reactors being built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
The idea that night time charging would still require extra power generation has been debunked on many occasions in many articles, so saying that 3.5GW of extra generating capacity would still be required if everyone charged their cars at night is flat wrong. You only need look as far as gridwatch to see the difference in electricity use at different times of the day:
Peak daytime use between about 9am and 8pm is ~35GW, while the night time usage between midnight and 6am is about 20GW. (add about another 5GW during winter for both) So the claimed extra generation capacity required over night is nonsense. EV's could charge to the tune of 8GW over night and still only push the night time use up to 28GW, well below the 35GW daily peak, or the 45GW peak capacity of the grid. In fact it has been calculated that there is enough spare capacity between midnight and 6am to charge every passenger car in the country without exceeding the daytime generation capacity...
The second point that is not even considered in that article is that the refining of oil into petrol and diesel takes a massive amount of electricity, something that is conveniently swept under the rug by anti EV propaganda. I don't have the exact figures in front me but I have looked at them before and it works out that the amount of electricity to refine a litre of petrol or diesel (right through the refining process) is so high that in combination with the much greater efficiency of an EV is enough to drive an EV as far as the petrol/diesel would have taken the conventional car!
So in the big picture every mile that is driven by an EV instead of a petrol/diesel car is a reduction in demand for refined petroleum products, and a reduction in electricity use during refining that is roughly equal to the electricity used to charge the EV. So assuming that average per driver mileage stays the same there is no net increase in electricity generation demand because the demand from oil refineries will drop.
So there is no problem with generation capacity. It's true that the grid itself may need bolstering in certain areas due to the redistribution of load - less load at refineries and more load spread across the country at residences and at roadside and car park chargers, but that is not the impossible engineering task that some would have you believe. Building extra transport capacity is simply laying more cables and installing more/bigger transformers - something that is a lot easier to do than coming up with additional sources of generation like building a new power plant.
Of course it may be that because EV miles are so much cheaper that people will drive more, offsetting this balance, (we are certainly driving more than we would have in the Xantia!) however that would be an incremental increase.
The national grid has had an easy ride in the last few years due to demand actually falling thanks to power efficient lighting, however that was only ever going to be a temporarily respite, as once everyone has efficient lighting the trend would have reversed to gradually increasing demand again, even without EV's. What a shame that they might have to put in a little effort now to build out a bit more capacity.
Too many doomsayers, the sky is not falling on our heads - as EV charging demands increase infrastructure investment will keep pace - demand is not going to change suddenly overnight. If the national grid don't keep track of the increases in demand that EV's will bring and invest in the necessary infrastructure to support it in a timely fashion then they're not doing their job! The shift in usage will happen with or without their co-operation at a grass roots level of individual car owners plugging in their cars.