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UK capacity boost needed, says Scottish Power – 25th September

Tower

The energy firm Scottish Power has estimated that the UK will need to boost its electricity generation to keep up with rising energy demands, due to the recently increasing popularity of electric cars and heating, which could send demand for power soaring.

Due the falling prices of electric cars, it is thought that prices will match those of the petrol and diesel counterparts between 2022 and 2050, which would lead to a shift in both buying patterns and electricity usage.

This estimation is based on previous energy trends, which have shown that the public could move to electric technologies before governments and companies expect, possibly leading to difficulties with energy demand. In addition, the chief executive of Scottish Power has also claimed that investment into infrastructure, such as wiring, will also be needed to keep up with the expected trends.

Currently, Scottish Power have warned that electric cars, especially those with the power to rapid charge in up to 20 minutes, could pose a problem if several are plugged in at the same time in one street; warning that the system would not be able to cope.

One way in which this trend could be met is with further investment into renewable energy technologies. This suggestion comes from Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of Scottish Power, who told BBC Scotland there should be a new rush in onshore wind turbines if this new consumer trend is to be met.

However, it seems as though the UK governments are prepared for this new trend, with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, recently announcing a target for shifting away from petrol and diesel cars and to battery powered cars by 2032; with the UK government announcing a similar target for 2040.

Heating, on the other hand, is further behind cars in terms of progress to change to electric technologies, which could be provided by renewable electricity. This change is likely to require removal of boilers as well as replacement of radiators and pipes throughout homes, which could take much more time.

The advice from the experts from Scottish Power to politicians, regulators and customers is to keep going with development and investment, as this will lead to lower costs and improved efficiency and more innovation.

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