However, with smart charging and the introduction of shared autonomous vehicles, the impact on the grid could be much lower. In fact, peak demand could be limited to around 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2050; equivalent to 10% of the current UK 60GW peak demand on a cold winter’s day. (See Carbon Brief link
Ofgem's new report - Upgrading Our Energy System
- says that the arrival of more low carbon generation, which is intermittent and often located close to people's homes and businesses, prompts new challenges and opportunities. It produces different amounts of electricity depending on factors like the time of day or the weather. New technologies are emerging, it says, and the costs of many of these technologies, such as storage, are falling rapidly.
Ofgem says that if we get the changes right, we have the opportunity to create new businesses and jobs, empower consumers and help people save up to £40bn off their energy bills in the coming decades.
Ofgem's Plan is a culmination of work with BEIS and is a core component of Ofgem's future facing work to enable the energy system transition. It forms part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It is supported by Government’s significant increase in public research and innovation spending, including on new storage technologies. (See LowCVP news story on the 'Faraday Challenge'
The report's authors asked for views on what changes the Government and Ofgem should make and engaged throughout the process with innovators from across the energy industry. Ofgem's plan shows what actions need to be taken by Government and Industry to deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system by:
removing barriers to smart technologies, including storage
enabling smart homes and businesses
making markets work for flexibility
Ofgem says that its plan enables the development of a smart, flexible energy system that will reduce costs for consumers and industry, and support the growth of innovative new businesses.