Is the future electric? A utility perspective

Rufus Ford, SSE

Electricity demand scenarios to 2050 from UKERC, DECC, OFGEM, the CCC and others, show a wide range of possible different total demands across buildings and transport. These include differing visions for the level of electrification of domestic and non-domestic heat, as well as transport. Research on Shetland, through the NINES project, shows the potential important role that next generation storage heaters, whole system approaches and energy storage could play. Key to a more electric future, that could support the greater deployment of heat pumps and electric vehicles, will be a smart energy system that can optimise demand response to limit peak loads, whilst reducing network investment costs. A range of barriers to electrification exist including customer inertia, heat pump performance and infrastructure requirements and there remains a mismatch between the vision for an electric future and short term policies, including the need for integrating heat with energy efficiency policy.

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