The ongoing conversion from fossil fuels to electricity in the automotive sector is one of the factors that has affected electricity demand. At the same time, vehicle operators are seeing an increasing demand for electric cars. Now many are wondering if the electricity will suffice.
Our increased electricity needs are affected by the focus on sustainability issues and the shift from fossil fuels to electricity where the transport system’s electrification is the focus. It is not only passenger cars that move from fossil fuel to electricity, but also buses, boats, heavy transport, and construction machinery.
The price trend for, for example, electric cars has gone faster than expected. Prices are now at a more reasonable level than before and consumption rates have increased. Basically, it is positive that consumers are choosing more environmentally friendly alternatives, but this creates a challenge for the industry. But even if everyone switches to an electric car, things will go well.
The main factor that has created our increased need for electricity in cities is urbanization. More people are moving into the cities from the countryside. Urbanization is proceeding faster than expected and some cities have had problems supplying companies and residents with electricity.
More people have moved into the cities than the tribal network is designed for. Therefore, local problems have arisen with the supply of electricity in some parts of the world.
In addition, some electricity companies have chosen to replace cogeneration plants that produced both electricity and heat to heat plants that only produce heat. Just producing heat is cheaper, but it also means that municipalities lose local electricity production and are forced to import electricity into the city.
Having problems with the electricity supply is a problem on several places in the world, and the issue exists worldwide. Urbanization, where people move into urban areas and electrification where one wants to replace fossil fuels with electricity, affects electricity supply worldwide.
Investment in new charging infrastructure and smart systems
International collaborations are carried out in which researchers from several countries participate. Among other things, we try to find solutions for, for example, flexibility in the systems where we strive to level the peaks and thus obtain a more even supply of electricity.
We do not yet know what the aggregate effect will be but regardless, not everyone will charge simultaneously. Locally, more electricity generation or grid reinforcements may be required. And in some cities, this may pose a certain problem, but at a national level it should not be a problem.
However, the charging infrastructure will need to be expanded and connected to so-called smart systems that distribute power.
Today, there is a lack of standardized cost-effective products for, for example, homeowners or tenant-owner associations to install charging stations at home. There are also no regulations that regulate how much or when you can charge, or if you need to lower the effect on something else for the property, such as the heat pump.
Shared focus makes it difficult
There are ambitious investment plans for electricity networks with extra plans for the cities. Unfortunately, the electricity grid needs to be strengthened both here and now while it needs to be expanded, which means a shared focus. The different time perspectives make work difficult. While you need to strengthen where there are holes today, you need to make the large infrastructure investments that will provide our country for around fifty years to come.