How will utility companies adapt to the rise in renewables?
Utility planners will need to plan for an incoming wave of emerging technologies like EVs, solar, wind, energy efficiency, and storage.
By 2035, we expect EVs will displace 1.8 Mb/d of oil demand globally — and the electricity market will need to ensure adequate infrastructure to be able to charge electric cars. Even if every residence had solar panels on top and produced and consumed their own energy, nightly energy use would still rely on the grid or alternative technologies like storage. Utility planners will be challenged to figure out where and when demand will be highest, and ensure that demand is met by renewable technologies to the extent possible. This task will become more difficult with larger levels of EV penetration along with increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy sources.
While most developed country markets will be capable of handling many years of EV growth, fast charging and local distribution grid infrastructure could throw challenges even at moderate levels of saturation. Utilities will need to use smart charging and time of use rates to manage the realities of large numbers of EVs charging simultaneously. While the transition to cleaner transport will continue to gain support and market acceptance given various market and regulatory forces -- understanding dynamics of the power grid and renewables sector will drive the pace of such a transition.
As part of our coverage on peak oil demand, we asked Prajit Ghosh, Global Head of Strategy – Power & Renewables, to share his view on what’s next for power and renewables as we approach peak demand.
Next in our peak oil demand series, we'll look more closely at the impacts of peak demand on the gas market. Read our coverage on how EVs will impact peak oil demand and what that means for companies and the upstream, supply chain, gas, metals, chemicals and refining industries. You can read more about the learnings we take from coal's peak and how China's evolving economy played a part.