What Happened to "the Gentleman from The Times"?

On page 28 of today's Times is an article with the headline that "Electric cars mean UK needs 20 new nuclear plants."

I wonder if the writer Graeme Paton did any research on the possibilities offered with battery vehicles supporting the grid.

What do you think?
The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Replies

  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    On page 28 of today's Times is an article with the headline that "Electric cars mean UK needs 20 new nuclear plants."

    I wonder if the writer Graeme Paton did any research on the possibilities offered with battery vehicles supporting the grid.

    What do you think?
    I wonder if he did any research at all !

    Whilst a wholesale shift to EVs might result in the UK needing more power generation capacity, there's no reason to suppose that the only way of providing that would be to build one particular sort of power plant.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    BEV : Nissan Leaf e+
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    On page 28 of today's Times is an article with the headline that "Electric cars mean UK needs 20 new nuclear plants."

    What do you think?

    Assuming that's 20 reactors, not 20 powerstations that could have 1, 2, 3, 4 or so reactors, and that they are a 'modest' 1GW (HPC is to have 2x 1.6GW), then that's an extra 175TWh pa, or a 50% increase in generation, which doesn't sound right.

    As Eric says, doesn't have to be nuclear capacity, in fact I don't believe we'd need any more capacity today, if theoretically all cars became EV's, though it would be tight.

    My thoughts:

    Firstly if leccy demand goes up, then we can scale up our leccy supply infrastructure (supply & demand?)
    For 30m cars driving an average of 8,000 miles at 3miles/kWh we'd need around 80TWh more than the 350TWh (or so) we currently consume.

    Secondly we don't really need any more capacity to meet the extra generation. About half would come from savings in refining fuel (about 6.5kWh per gallon) and the other half from the gas plants spare capacity as they currently run at low levels through the night, with 10-15GW spare for around 10hrs. So we could cope today.

    Moving from low efficiency petrol/diesel to high efficiency (and cleaner) gas generation would be an instant win. Then we expand PV, wind, tidal, hydro, bio etc, to displace that additional gas generation.

    The beauty of this, is that you've increased the leccy demand, so with RE being so cheap now, we rollout more in response to demand, and the gas guys won't lose their business as the movement of transport to electricity will balance out their loss of business to RE. So quite a nice transition.

    Over time, with the movement of space heating to leccy too, we'll see the amount of gas generation staying roughly the same*, but the percentage dropping as it's steadily replaced with RE and storage, so we have the backup needed to expand RE.

    *But the amount of petrol/diesel and domestic gas reducing.

    Only my opinion, but I don't think I've made any false assumptions. The one main problem of this theoretical solution today, is that we wouldn't have the spare capacity to charge cars during the GMT evening peaks (yet), so they'd have to wait till nightime, perhaps this would be managed with punitive evening leccy rates, or generous night rates.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I wonder what percentage of EVs - domestic and commercial - are forecast to be charged during the night?

    Presumably smart metering will be a factor.
  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    I wonder what percentage of EVs - domestic and commercial - are forecast to be charged during the night?

    Presumably smart metering will be a factor.
    Speaking purely personally, almost all my EV charging is done during the night. I suspect my reasons for doing so would apply to many others. i.e. I don't use the car at night and would like it fully charged at start of the day; also I have E7 so it's a lot cheaper to charge it then (not quite as cheap as during the 4 hours around noon in the summer of course :D ) than it would be to plug it in as soon as I finish using it; it's very likely that any EV owner not already on E7 might find it worthwhile to join.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    BEV : Nissan Leaf e+
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    For 30m cars driving an average of 8,000 miles at 3miles/kWh we'd need around 80TWh more than the 350TWh (or so) we currently consume.
    Will there be 30m cars though? By 2025 there will be plenty of autonomous vehicles on the market and when they are used as taxis by the likes of Uber & Lyft plus owners sending them off to ferry people whilst at work, in bed or on holiday there will be less need for vehicles overall. Because of the low costs involved, Tony Seba estimates a requirement of only 10-30% of the numbers we now have.

    I for one am looking forward to the day I can take the 60kWh battery out of my 2018 Nissan Leaf and use it to store solar PV then phone/text/e-mail for a car to take me to wherever I want to go. I can then have a decent man cave where the garages used to be.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    EricMears wrote: »
    Speaking purely personally, almost all my EV charging is done during the night. I suspect my reasons for doing so would apply to many others. i.e. I don't use the car at night and would like it fully charged at start of the day; also I have E7 so it's a lot cheaper to charge it then (not quite as cheap as during the 4 hours around noon in the summer of course :D ) than it would be to plug it in as soon as I finish using it; it's very likely that any EV owner not already on E7 might find it worthwhile to join.
    We will no doubt have C2G to even out electricity flow as well. As solar PV becomes cheaper more people will get it and that will also be used to charge their EVs.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    Will there be 30m cars though?

    I'd have thought less cars too, but the total mileage and therefore TWh's might not fall unless people start to car share, which hopefully they will. So it might be 3m cars times 80,000 miles pa, and every possible combination therein, though commonsense suggests total mileage would reduce ...... I think.

    NigeWick wrote: »
    We will no doubt have C2G to even out electricity flow as well. As solar PV becomes cheaper more people will get it and that will also be used to charge their EVs.

    This is when it gets funny. We've been lectured for years by the faux experts on how leccy demand is highest during the evening peak, and all other generation is of little value. [An argument which also devalues their 24/7 nuclear position.]

    However, charging cars whilst at work, or at night when home, will boost demand, and V2G from potentially 50-500GWh of EV storage capacity will reduce peak demand on the grid.

    Plus of course all those PV'ers with home storage too (perhaps 10GWh), helping to reduce peak loads, grid carbon intensity and wholesale spot prices.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • tunneltunnel Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    I for one am looking forward to the day I can take the 60kWh battery out of my 2018 Nissan Leaf and use it to store solar PV then phone/text/e-mail for a car to take me to wherever I want to go. I can then have a decent man cave where the garages used to be.
    Never been a fan of leccy vehicles myself. Certainly can't see myself changing my hydrocarbon fuelled vehicle cell for a man cave......not in my lifetime anyway.
    2 kWp SEbE , 2kWp SSW & 2.5kWp NWbW.....in sunny North Derbyshire
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »

    leccy demand is highest during the evening peak,


    A statement of the obvious?;)


    .
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    A statement of the obvious?;)


    .

    Hiya Chuckles, were you getting bored or lonely under your little bridge?

    Couple of quick questions,

    1. Do you still believe the EROEI of PV is less than 1?
    2. Do you still believe typical rooftop PV won't significantly exceed 10% efficiency?

    Sorry to nag, but you forgot to answer last time you 'popped out'. :D
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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