Electricity North West, which operates the power network throughout the region, has revealed that it expects peak electricity demand in the North West to increase by up to 50% in the next 20 years, as the region transitions to a low carbon future and moves away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
In its annual Distribution Future Electricity Scenarios (DFES) publication, it has revealed that much of this increase in electricity demand will be due to the expected growth in the adoption of electric vehicles across the region to meet the UK’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, or by 2038 in Greater Manchester.
Steve Cox, engineering and technical director at Electricity North West, said, “We’re at the start of an avalanche of adoption of low carbon technologies and as the network operator for the region, it’s our job to support its economic development by working closely with stakeholders to understand their plans and then forecast the likely impact of those on the power network, which we do annually in our DFES publication.
“Electricity North West is in an ideal position to provide the reliable and impartial information that customers need to inform their own investment plans and the DFES is an important way for them to access this information and understand the scale of the challenge of transitioning to a low carbon economy.”
He added: “We’re focused on supporting our customers move to a low carbon future and we know demand for electricity is going to increase along with the amount of distributed generation in our region and that’s why we are investing tens of millions of pounds in new technology and increasing the resilience of our network.
“We’re adapting the network, so it can cope with the increase in demand and ensure the North West’s economy continue to grow and leads the way in meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets.”
The DFES report also suggests that meeting the region’s carbon neutral target would require 60% of buildings to be warmed by electric heating by 2050, with one in six buildings adopting electric heating within the next 10 years.
Electricity North West has also become the first Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to produce and make available their forecasts in a data workbook. The workbook is readily available and allows customers to receive a local electricity forecast for their specific area of interest.
The annual publication of the DFES report is part of Electricity North West’s Distribution Systems Operator (DSO) strategy Powering the North West’s Future.