Will our power grid survive electromobility?
Hundreds of thousands of Germans apply for a charging station at home in order to be able to charge the e-car quickly. This has massive consequences for the power supply. Electricity suppliers are already working to limit the services they make available.
Are e-cars pushing our power grid to the limit?AFP/ Robin Beck
The power grid has been feeling the effects of the electric car boom for a long time. So far, the network has withstood the stresses without a noteworthy blackout. There have even been fewer blackouts in recent years. The average interruption time per connected consumer fell from 15 minutes in 2017 to 11 minutes last year. This is the lowest downtime since the statistics were first published in 2006. But the more electric cars, the more difficulties the power grids will face. The network agency warns of the future challenges posed by private charging. “Particularly in the evening hours, a rapid ramp-up of electromobility could sometimes lead to overloading of the local network if many vehicles are to be charged at the same time,” said the authority on request.
11 percent higher electricity consumption by 2030
In a preliminary estimate submitted by Federal Economics Minister Altmaier in July of this year, gross electricity consumption in 2030 is estimated at 658 terawatt hours (TWh). Should the forecast come true, this would be an increase of 11 percent compared to 2018. Electromobility in particular is responsible for increasing electricity consumption.
Other main drivers of electricity consumption in Germany include rail transport, heat pumps and data centers. In the expected development, the increase in energy efficiency in the private and commercial sector as well as the reduction in electricity demand for other conversion will lead to a decrease in electricity consumption.
“It has long been clear that more electricity will be needed when there are millions of electric cars and heat pumps on the market. Increasing digitization will also increase electricity consumption. It is therefore right that the ministry has now raised its expectations of future electricity consumption, ”said Kerstin Andreae, Chair of the German Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW).