The UK’s “largest” smart grid project has completed its first stage of research into peoples’ electricity use and is now joining forces with an electric vehicle (EV) recharging network.
The £54 million Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project and Charge Your Car will work together to monitor the typical energy usage of EV drivers and the impact EVs have on electricity networks. This is to ensure Britain’s electricity networks are fit for the future and ready for the mass uptake of low carbon technologies.
Dr Liz Sidebotham, Communications Manager for the CLNR project said: “Through the CLNR project, we’re conducting a number of innovative technological and customer trials to help create a ‘smarter powergrid’ that will be able to cope with the mass uptake of EVs and other electricity dependent low carbon technologies.
“Recently announced subsidies for EV charging points in homes and businesses will certainly encourage more electric transport but it’s important to remember that the average EV uses 8KW of electricity when it is recharging.”
She added if there were ten million EV owners who charge their vehicles at the same time, it would be equivalent to 80GW of power, which is the generating capacity available in Britain today. If that is added to the overall demand for electricity in the country, which is around 40GW to 60GW at peak, the existing generating capacity would have to be doubled.
The project is part funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund and has already trialled 12,000 domestic and commercial customers’ energy usage. CLNR hopes the project will help the UK reach its targets to cut carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.