Networks planning for an EV future

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal Opposition for a strategy for a cleaner transport future.

“Energy networks are already working and innovating to accommodate a future powered by batteries and hydrogen fuel cells,” Mr Dillon said.

“There are huge opportunities with electric vehicles but also significant challenges, which is why planning is already underway by Energy Networks Australia and its members.

“Energy networks are beginning to test infrastructure and design new systems to handle the increased load of electric vehicles while planning for the hydrogen and electricity charging facilities they will require.

“Done well, electric vehicles can significantly increase the utilisation of existing energy network infrastructure, lowering costs for all users.”

That is why Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Energy Market Operator are working on the Open Energy Networks project. The project aims to maximise the benefits of integrating new technologies, such as electric vehicles, for consumers.

Open Energy Networks proposes options for improving the electricity system to ensure electric vehicles and household solar and storage work in harmony and deliver the most value for all customers.

Recent analysis by KPMG in Victoria shows that if 100 per cent uptake of battery electric vehicles occurs by 2046, total electricity consumption will increase by about 50 per cent.

“This increase of demand has major implications for the design and management of the grid, and if not managed appropriately, could lead to the system breaching its current capacity during times of peak load,” Mr Dillon said.

Both hydrogen fuel cell electric and battery electric technologies are likely to play a role in the future of transport with Australia also well positioned to become a major world supplier of hydrogen.