Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of increased numbers of electric cars on the grid capacity of the (a) UK and b) North West.
The Government is working with the energy industry to plan for electric vehicle uptake, and the market is already set up to bring forward investment in new generation capacity; for example, the Contracts for Difference scheme supports investment in new low carbon generation, and additional demand can be managed through adjustments to the amount of capacity secured through the Capacity Market auctions.
Ensuring the adequacy of the electricity network is the responsibility of electricity network companies, and they are incentivised to do so through the regulatory framework set out by Ofgem, the independent regulator. Electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) submitted their draft business plans for the next price control (RIIO ED2), which will run from 2023-28, on 1 July. As part of this, DNOs, including Electricity North West, will include forecasts for electric vehicle uptake and how they plan to ready the network for these technologies.
As well as creating significant new demand, the transition to electric vehicles offers opportunities for flexible management of the electricity system. Smart charging during off-peak periods, when demand is low, can reduce peak demand and avoid triggering unnecessary network reinforcement. It can also maximise use of renewable electricity and can benefit consumers with cheaper electricity.