Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: EVs and heat pumps will crash the electricity system

The climate scaremongers: EVs and heat pumps will crash the electricity system


THE National Grid recently published plans to upgrade the electricity transmission grid, needed to hit decarbonisation targets at a cost of £112billion in the next ten years alone.

But the transmission grid is only part of the problem. A much bigger one lies within the low voltage (LV) distribution network, which brings power into our towns, along our streets and into our homes. In just a few years, this network will be unable to cope with the extra demand imposed by electric cars and heat pumps. And the government can’t say it has not been warned.

Stephen Broderick, a highly experienced Doctor of Engineering at Southampton University, provided written evidence highlighting the looming crisis to Parliament in 2017. He warned that most of our networks simply did not have the capacity to handle EVs in every home, nor heat pumps, never mind both together. The consequence would be blackouts, damage to appliances and house fires. He has since published more research which suggests the problem is even worse than he thought.

In simple terms there are about 250,000 LV distribution networks in the UK, mostly supplying a hundred or so homes. Each network has its own substation.

A hundred home network, as an example, would typically supply 150 kW simultaneously, an average of 1.5 kW per home. Individual houses could draw down more, but the system assumes all the homes won’t do so at the same time.

However, if every house has an EV and all the drivers put them on charge at the same time when they get home from work, that would immediately add 700 kW to existing demand. (Home chargers are usually 7 kW). Even if drivers staggered the times they plugged in, there would still be a massive problem, particularly when many networks are already close to full capacity.

Worse still, the government already plans to use smart meters to restrict EV charging to just a few hours in the middle of the night, as the nation won’t have enough power during peak periods. We are therefore likely to have a situation where smart meters automatically switch on everybody’s chargers at, say, midnight.

Heat pumps will, of course, make matters even worse. During really cold weather, they would likely add around 2 kW to each home’s demand all day long; this would crash the system even if all other appliances were switched off. Currently, of course, most of this heating is fuelled by natural gas.

This is not an issue for the distant future. Government targets for EVs mean that most households will have one within a few years.

There is only one solution, and that is to upgrade every substation and dig up roads to replace every cable. The cost will be phenomenal, certainly well over £100billion. It will take well over a decade to do as the country does not have enough electrical engineers and technicians. Yet the government has no plans to even start the exercise.

Just as with the rest of Net Zero, we are committed to a policy without the slightest idea of how we can achieve it.

Sensible India sticks with coal

WHILE Ed Miliband plans to shut all of the UK’s coal and gas power plants in the next six years, in India the adults are still in charge.

In the year ending March 2024, thermal power production (almost all coal) increased by 10 per cent year on year. It now supplies 77 per cent of the country’s electricity. You might need a magnifying glass to see the increase in wind and solar power, which accounted for just 11 per cent.

And the country is still building new coal power plants. During the last 12 months another 5.7 GW has been added, an increase of 2.8 per cent. India now has nearly a third more coal power capacity than in 2015, when we all signed up to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The renewables lobby keep saying that solar is the cheapest source of power, and this should be particularly true in India, where land is cheap and the sun is plentiful. But whether this is true or not is beside the point. An industrial economy like India’s needs dispatchable power that it can turn on when it needs it and off when it does not. And it needs a lot of it. Solar power is of course not only intermittent but hopelessly variable even during the day. It is next to useless at any scale unless you are prepared to spend trillions on battery storage.

India knows all of this, that is why they are still building new coal power plants.

Mediterranean wildfires were normal in 2023

YOU would be excused for thinking the whole Mediterranean landscape was ablaze last year, with the Guardian warning that the climate crisis was coming for us, the BBC claiming that devastating wildfires were changing the face of the region, and some silly Telegraph reporter telling us that the world was on fire.

In fact, wildfires around the Med last year were no worse than normal, according to the latest data published by the EU. Even in Greece, which was worst affected, the area burnt was much greater in 2007. And there is no upward trend either in Greece itself or the region as a whole. This in itself invalidates the claim promulgated by the BBC every year that climate change is making wildfires worse.

It is hot and dry every summer around the Mediteranean – perfect fire weather just waiting for a spark (usually by an arsonist). Add in strong winds, and you will invariably get a conflagration.

There is nothing new in any of this. Even in ancient times, Homer and Virgil wrote about wildfires consuming thick woodlands. Until around 2000 BC, most of Greece was covered with dense forest. Its destruction largely began with the invasion of the country by various races who set fire to it to provide grasslands for their livestock. They were the arsonists of ancient Greece.

As the Daily Sceptic‘s Chris Morrison wrote earlier this year: ‘Wildfires are an easy propaganda win for climate alarmists. People die, property is destroyed and the published images are spectacular. But fires are a vital part of nature, always have been. They help clear away the debris that accumulates naturally in forests and scrub land and provide a path for regenerative growth. There is little evidence that natural trends are on the increase around the world, and none to suggest that humans play a part in natural ignition by burning hydrocarbons and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.’

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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