Electric vehicles could lift UK peak power demand by 5-8 GW by 2030 - National Grid

A member of staff charges an electric car in London, Britain October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner

LONDON (Reuters) - The growing use of electric vehicles could increase peak electricity demand in Britain by between 5 and 8 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, National Grid said on Thursday.

Last year, the government said it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to help reduce air pollution and help Britain to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels - the target it has set itself.

Although some conventional cars will remain on the road, numbers of electric vehicles (including cars, motorbikes, vans and buses) could swell to 11 million by 2030 and 36 million by 2040, according to National Grid's annual Future Energy Scenarios report.

As a result, electricity demand will increase, driven initially by the charging of electric vehicles and later as the pace picks up to decarbonise the heating sector.

Under scenarios which envisage Britain meeting its 2050 carbon reduction target, additional peak electricity demand could be between 5 and 8.1 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. This represents a 9 to 14 percent rise from 2017 peak electricity demand in Britain of 57 GW.

This also takes into account both residential and non-residential charging and depends on the use of smart-charging technologies, charging vehicles at off-peak times, the National Grid added.

After 2030, vehicle-to-grid technology, which will help electric vehicles power households, should help reduce additional peak power demand further.

"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," the report said.


(Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by David Evans)