Rise and rise of electric cars in north
THERE could be around 400,000 electric vehicles in the northern half of Scotland by 2032, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).
Analysis carried out for the energy company mapped out the potential impact of meeting the country’s climate change commitments and what it means for SSEN’s licence area north of the central belt, including the Scottish islands.
The "future electricity scenario analysis" was undertaken by Regen, a not-for-profit organisation providing advice and market insight on sustainable energy delivery. It provides a snapshot of what the energy system might look like 13 years from now.
Under the scenarios where Scotland will meet its 2045 net zero decarbonisation target through a decentralised energy landscape, the north of the country could see:
- Nearly 407,000 electric vehicles on the north of Scotland’s roads by 2032, the year of the Scottish Government’s ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars on its roads
- Nearly 70,000 new homes built by 2032, with 1189 hectares of potential new commercial development
- Some 73,000 homes with rooftop solar panels installed
- Thirty-three per cent of homes fully or partially electrically heated by a heat pump, with this figure rising to 48 per cent of households on the Scottish islands, which are predominately off-gas
- Generation connections to the distribution network more than doubling to 6GW by 2032, with increases in solar, battery storage, onshore wind and hydro power, enough to power around 2.8 million homes
Stewart Reid, head of future networks at SSEN, said: "This study will help us understand and prepare for the changing way we’ll be using electricity in the future and the impact it will have on the electricity network.
“With one in two homes potentially driving an electric vehicle by 2032, up from only 3500 currently, it is crucial Scotland’s ambitious 2045 net zero target is met with action now. At SSEN we are working to manage this transition so nobody is left behind.
“Working within local authority boundaries, we can better understand the priorities and align our network plans to their development plans. This is about working together to drive local economic development and deliver a cost-effective network that is reflective of our customers’ needs and the country’s decarbonisation goals.”
This year, SSEN joined the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and SP Energy Networks to lead the charge on electric vehicle infrastructure with a £7.5m strategic partnership. The funding will see SSEN and SP Energy Networks trial projects to widen access to electric vehicle charging networks and provide the infrastructure required to support it, including examining the impact of the increasing number of tourists expected to use electric cars, and the infrastructure needs along the route of the Electric A9.
For more information on the future electricity scenario analysis, and to read the report in full, visit www.ssen.co.uk/SmarterElectricity.