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Towards Net Zero: Faster electric vehicle rollout only possible with a smart energy system

11/18/2020

In response to the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution for 250,000 jobs, Robert Cheesewright, Director at Smart Energy GB, said:

"The faster transition to electric vehicles will have an enormous positive effect on reducing Great Britain's carbon emissions and will provide much needed impetus to the nation's climate changeefforts. But, without the necessary upgrades to our energy system by way of smart meters, and increasing the number of vehicle-to-grid charging points in homes, we risk failure.

"With the necessary upgrades to our energy infrastructure and the completion of the smart meter rollout, the nation will have a resilient smart energy network with the ability to match supply from intermittent renewables with the increased demand that will come from electric vehicles and home heating. With consumer confidence that a smart energy system can generate or call upon sufficient supplies when needed we are certain that we will see a greater shift of attitudes towards electric vehicles."

The plan covers a range of measures including faster transition to electric vehicles and a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030. In addition, it outlines increased ambition for renewable energy sources and measures to reduce household emissions.

Personal transport equates to a third of all carbon emissions, therefore the transition to electric vehicles is a key element of Great Britain's plans to tackle climate change. Smart Energy GB welcomes the clear target to start the phase out of non-electric vehicles, but highlight that many challenges will need urgent attention to ensure that the transition is a success.

There will need to be a greater take up of smart meters and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging solutions at a minimum to balance the intermittent nature of renewables and to avoid the risk of blackouts. However, the flexibility within the system that is brought from the mass uptake of electric vehicles is also a vital solution to the problem of integrating intermittent renewables into our energy system.

With smart meters installed in every home across Great Britain it will be possible to fully and efficiently integrate intermittent renewable energy sources, help to balance supply with demand while also ending our reliance upon fossil fuel generation of electricity. Without a smart energy system, the risk of blackouts is a very real danger for the nation during periods where renewable energy is in short supply.

Notes to editors:

Broadcast availability

Smart Energy GB spokespeople are available to speak to media ahead of, or following, the prime Minister's green speech - including:

  • Robert Cheesewright, Director, Smart Energy GB
  • Iagan MacNeil, Head of Policy, Smart Energy GB
  • Fflur Lawton, Head of Public Affairs, Smart Energy GB

As well as smart meters, they are able to discuss the transition to renewable energy, electric vehicles, home heating, upgrading the outdated energy system and consumer attitudes towards climate change and energy issues.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is a not-for-profit that exists to help the public better understand the benefits and importance of smart meters.

Smart meters are an essential part of creating a cleaner, greener future. smart meters pave the way for an energy revolution - updating our outdated energy infrastructure and giving households and small businesses more control over their energy usage and bills.

The smart technology in smart meters helps our energy system manage demand and supply better - helping pave the way to a fully renewable energy supply. This is part of the UK's goal to reach 'net zero', cutting down the harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere that cause climate change.

Having a smart meter installed is easy and comes at no extra cost. 17.4 million households have already joined the smart revolution. our goal is that everyone eligible for one has one installed by 2025.