Future electricity might be a smart, local nightmare.
The Goverment’s aim is for zero carbon electricity generation by 2035. This will mean a profound change in how we:
Generate electricity - the grid will become smart and know the amounts of electricity we use for each device and when we use it. The grid will know which local companies / organisations have electricity available to sell. These will all be matched up.
Heat homes - the aim is for ground or air source hearing, or hydrogen fuels.
Power our Journeys - Cars, buses and small electric vehicles (EV’s) will increase dramatically.
The Government intention seems to be to move away from large power stations which operate continuously. Instead, we will have a large variety of widely distributed power sources (eg community wind, solar)
The 2020 Local Electricity Bill seeks to allow your local Sports Hall, Village Hall, or say a housing estate covered with solar panels to sell electricity to local customers. At present, there are laws and prohibitive costs which prevent this happening. Conservative lead Suffolk County Council unanimously supports the campaign for this Bill.
Oxford County Council shows the way
At the same time SSEN (Scottish and Southern Elecric Network) together with Oxford County Council is running trials to provide a lead for the whole country. 5 communities will participate in these 2year “smart and fair” trials:
Eynsham - develop an action plan for changing from current housing & planning models , to new models to deal with the climate emergency.
Deddington & Duns - Heat pump trials
Osney Isand - Looking at smart EV ownership and use.
Westmill - large scale battery project to look at storage practicalities.
Update Feb 2022
The UK first ZEZ (zero emission zone) is scheduled to came in to force on 28 Feb 2022. It will be interesting to watch Oxford City because many other counties including Suffolk are likely to learn lessons from them and follow their lead. This means that between 7am and 7pm , only zero emission vehicles will be allowed to enter the zone free of charge. There are likely to be exceptions such as emergency vehicles, and large delivery vehicles. Hybrid vehicles will not count as zero emission vehicles.
The daily charge will start at £2 per day rising to £4 for ultra low emission vehicles. Other vehicles will be charged £10 rising to £20 per day. Drivers will be able to pay up to 6 days in advance on the Oxford County Council website. You can view a map of Oxford zez on the Oxford county council website.
Big Brother is here:
A quick calculation will show that there won't be enough electricity to charge all our cars, and devices, and keep the lights on .
But 32million of us each demanding 7kw means we need 224Gigawatts per hour for 6 hours each night.
The trouble is that we typically generate something under 30Gigawatts in total in UK.
Government and power companies will know what devices you are using via smart meters and would need to switch power off as required to ration energy supply.