Unprecedented pace of change in the electricity supply explained at Transport + Energy Forum
Electricity is the answer to our transport decarbonisation because we are decarbonising the electricity supply.
That’s the message from Paul van Heyningen, Deputy Director for Net Zero Electricity Networks at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
He told the Transport + Energy Forum “Taking Action to Decarbonise Now” meeting in Birmingham that there is a need for a transformation at an unprecedented pace to move from large sites to many smaller generation sites. This, he said, was to ensure that the network is an enabler and not a barrier to change.
Mr van Heyningen discussed the vision for the future, with a strategically planned network, led by the Independent Future System Operator (when established) and taking account of wider system developments.
This is something that needs to be done holistically, he said, with charge point planning integrated with energy planning, and how his team works with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
The energy regulator Ofgem, he explained, is to improve grid capacity, investment and resilience including in the face of big weather events. He added that it is also going to have an uncertain funding budget to cope with reacting to changes in assumptions on where the charge point network should be.
He promised that policy will continue to enable cost-effective and timely connections of new generation and demand. This involves reducing the timescales required to connect to the Grid, with streamlining waiting time which will allow for faster infrastructure build through reforming planning and consenting. Finally he told the room that they would be smart in managing demand across the day so that there is less at peak times, which he says could reduce total demand at peak by 15GW.
Summing up, Mr van Heyningen told the Forum that there is a lot to do with an unprecedented scale and pace of transition and hoped that they agreed they had made a good start to this.