The Federal Opposition’s announcement of a strategy for a cleaner transport future has been welcomed by Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, who said that Energy Networks Australia is already working towards a future powered by batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
“There are huge opportunities with electric vehicles but also significant challenges, which is why planning is already underway by Energy Networks Australia and its members,” Mr Dillon said.
“Energy networks are beginning to test infrastructure and design new systems to handle the increased load of electric vehicles, while planning for the hydrogen and electricity charging facilities they will require.
“Done well, electric vehicles can significantly increase the utilisation of existing energy network infrastructure, lowering costs for all users.”
Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Energy Market Operator are currently working on the Open Energy Networks project, which aims to maximise the benefits of integrating new technologies, such as electric vehicles, for consumers.
Recent analysis by KPMG in Victoria shows that if 100 per cent uptake of battery electric vehicles occurs by 2046, total electricity consumption will increase by about 50 per cent.
“This increase in demand has major implications for the design and management of the grid, and if not managed appropriately, could lead to the system breaching its current capacity during times of peak load,” Mr Dillon said.
Both hydrogen fuel cell electric and battery electric technologies are likely to play a role in future transport systems, with Australia also well positioned to become a major world supplier of hydrogen.