A glimpse into the not too dis­tant fu­ture

RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY 20% ELEC­TRic VE­HI­CLEs 3 mil­lion to­day 125 mil­lion by 2030

Daily Record - - ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE - Within two years, of en­ergy con­sumed in Europe is to come from re­new­able sources The In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency fore­casts that own­er­ship of elec­tric ve­hi­cles will grow from to

The fu­ture is elec­tric. With the mod­ern drive to­wards a cleaner, greener way of life we are al­ready see­ing a surge in the num­ber of elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the coun­try’s roads. And that means how we live and travel is al­ready un­der­go­ing sig­nif­i­cant change.

The lead­ing UK eco­nomics con­sul­tancy, the Cen­tre for Eco­nomics and Busi­ness Re­search (CEBR) warns that the UK’s de­mand for elec­tric­ity will con­tinue to grow in the fu­ture.

The changes to our en­ergy needs are far from a dis­tant pro­ject in the plan­ning stages: the good news is that the in­fra­struc­ture needed to sup­port this cleaner way of liv­ing is well un­der­way.

Part of this en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion is the need for the coun­try to op­er­ate a smart grid, which is a mod­ern way of run­ning our en­ergy net­works. Smart me­ters, cur­rently be­ing of­fered to house­holds across Great Bri­tain, are a cru­cial step to­wards this smart en­ergy grid. CHANGES TO TRANS­PORT All the stud­ies con­clude that elec­tric ve­hi­cles are by far the cleaner, greener trans­port op­tion. As many re­ports high­light the dan­ger­ously high level of car­bon emis­sions that ex­ist, es­pe­cially in ur­ban lo­ca­tions, the trend to­wards elec­tric ve­hi­cles isn’t just timely, but nec­es­sary and at the front of many peo­ple’s car buy­ing plans. A re­cent Pop­u­lus sur­vey, un­der­taken on be­half of Smart En­ergy GB, showed that 8 mil­lion peo­ple in the UK are con­sid­er­ing buy­ing or leas­ing an elec­tric car in the next five years. And, en­ergy ex­perts pre­dict, within 30 years, petrol and diesel-fu­elled trans­port will be a thing of the past.

A quiet en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion has been tak­ing place across the coun­try as in­creas­ing num­bers of charg­ing points have been added in the UK’s towns and cities.

Last year, more than 3,000 new charg­ing points were in­stalled as part of the coun­try’s ex­ist­ing net­work and that fig­ure is only set to rise.

As in­creas­ing num­bers of us make this switch from tra­di­tion­ally fu­elled cars to plug-ins, there will be a sig­nif­i­cant change to how we use en­ergy both at home and at work, with a need not just for more pub­lic charg­ers, but for more do­mes­tic charge points, too.

This is where smart me­ters and the smart grid will come into play. Most con­sumers will want to be able to charge their elec­tric ve­hi­cle at home. Smart me­ters, which are cur­rently be­ing in­stalled by en­ergy sup­pli­ers in house­holds across Great Bri­tain will play a cru­cial role in mak­ing the process more re­li­able.

Smart me­ters will also be able to help elec­tric car owners be even more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, by match­ing their charg­ing needs with the green­est elec­tric­ity on the sys­tem.

RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY Ev­i­dence shows that con­sumers with smart me­ters re­duce their en­ergy con­sump­tion be­cause they can check their in-home dis­play and see their en­ergy use in pounds and pence. They can then use this in­for­ma­tion to make changes to their be­hav­iour and make sav­ings.

Mov­ing to­wards a smart grid will help us un­der­stand de­mand and reg­u­late sup­ply – par­tic­u­larly as re­new­ables be­come in­creas­ingly vi­tal to our mix of en­ergy sources.

So­lar and wind are among the clean­est forms of re­new­able en­ergy and hugely re­duce our car­bon foot­print. But the sun doesn’t shine con­stantly, and it’s not al­ways windy, even in the UK. That means vari­able sup­ply, but a smarter grid will be able to make the most of new en­ergy stor­age tech­nolo­gies so that ex­cess en­ergy can be used when it’s needed. IMAG­IN­ING THE FU­TURE The real trans­port of the fu­ture will be an en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly one where even car own­er­ship will ad­just to en­sure trans­port op­er­ates on a needs-must ba­sis. In just 12 years’ time, ex­perts pre­dict the pri­vate own­er­ship of ve­hi­cles will be on the wane as we move to­wards mo­bil­ity-as-aser­vice providers. We will rely upon shared (elec­tric) con­nected and au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles (CAVs) to get from home to the of­fice. In hy­per ur­ban ar­eas, the fu­ture com­muter will have the op­tion of tak­ing ‘avi­a­tion taxis’ home. While it all sounds a bit Bladerun­ner, there’s no deny­ing the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances over the past 20 years have been huge, so if we stay with that pace, the fu­ture re­ally will be elec­tric – and much bet­ter for the planet.

DRIV­ING CHANGE EVs are part of an en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion MON­I­TOR Smart me­ters show the cost of your en­ergy usage

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