UK under pressure to develop electric vehicle infrastructure
A report from the National Grid suggests that current UK national infrastructure cannot support the charging of electric vehicles, and that the current system is about to reach “crunch point”, according to an industry expert.
If the government is to reach its 2050 decarbonisation target it is probable that by that date all cars will have to be electric, but the UK does not have the required infrastructure to support a nation of electric vehicles.
The report says that in a world where almost all cars will be electric 43% of car owners will not have access to off street parking, while too many domestic charging points will likely cause network stress.
One potential solution would be to build a thousands of super-fast charging forecourts of over 3 MW capacity rather than carry out a large scale rebuild of the domestic electricity infrastructure.
It may well be that the charging from home option may not be in the long term interest of the consumers even with smart chargers.
“UK infrastructure and the adoption of electric vehicles is reaching a crucial crunch point, revealed the National Grid’s latest report,” said Taavi Madiberk, CEO, Skeleton Technologies.
“Despite car manufacturers adopting zero-transmission technology and the government last month announcing plans to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel cars in Britain from 2040, in its current state the infrastructure simply cannot support the high demand for power and Britain faces serious outages if a solution is not implemented quickly.
“In order to optimise UK power grids to ensure they can support the surge in charging capabilities, we need to invest in energy storage technologies that complement battery power, such as ultracapacitor technology, that will allow us to smooth the peak power needs and manage the growing demands on our energy infrastructure.
“A complex process, it requires regulators, industry bodies and businesses to work together to create a foundation that will nurture this technology and support the innovation that can allow Britain to remain competitive.
“The UK is already lagging behind the likes of Norway, Switzerland and France who are starting to set industry benchmarks in this area, so we must act now or risk being left behind."
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.