If an energy policy sounds too good to be true, that is usually because it is. Take, for example, just one of the jigsaw pieces in current policy for reaching net zero by 2050: electric car batteries. Jillian Ambrose – who should know better – at the Guardian reports this weekend that:
“Ofgem plans to make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to sell the energy stored in their car batteries back to power grid as part of a move to help make the switch away from fossil fuel cars more affordable.
“Under the plan put forward by Great Britain’s energy regulator, electric vehicle drivers could earn money by effectively transforming their cars into mobile power plants by releasing power back to the energy network when demand on the electricity grid reaches a peak.
“If enough drivers take up the chance to make money from their car batteries by using vehicle-to-grid technology, the UK could avoid investing in new power plants with the equivalent generation capacity of up to 10 large nuclear power stations.”
This is wishful thinking on steroids. While it is true that if all of the UK’s 37 million cars were replaced with battery electric cars, and assuming that all were fitted with a mid-range – 98KW -battery, they could provide 3,100GW of power to the grid – just shy of the 3,200GW from 10 nuclear plants – they could only do it for about an hour. A battery is not a source of power, it is merely a storage medium. For comparison, a recent report the Manhattan Institute finds that:
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