By Todd Royal
Britain recently announced electric vehicles (EVs) sales will “jump to 30 million in the next 20 years.” London’s policies to control emissions has begun phasing out the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles. Bloomberg Quint believes the goal is realistic since the British network operator National Grid Plc’s Electricity System Operator released a report titled, Future Energy Scenario July 2020.
Under current and future electrical grid technologies there is no achievable way this is possible. Additionally, the United Nations and Amnesty International have outlined the abstract horrors to mine and bring to market the trillions of tons of rare earth minerals it would require too achieve British EV goals. Scorched earth strip mining and global environmental degradation would be the norm.
Would a Biden administration support these policies and environmental goals? Based on his official policies and statements from the far-left wing of the U.S. Democratic Party that wants to rid America and the world of fossil fuels, and related infrastructure – such as pipelines and liquid natural gas terminals – it seems likely Joe Biden would pursue these energy and transportation policies. But are they realistic? The costs of a new electrical grid, the energy density problem, and energy math indicate the answer is definitively no.
The British like Biden have zero understanding that electricity needs three parts for uninterrupted, reliable electricity to occur that could support 30 million EVs: spinning reserve mode, peaking mode, and back-up mode. If any of these variables don’t function the grid will suffer “brown-out,” or worse, a “blackout.”
London endured a total blackout in 2019, and the British grid is fragile from overreliance on chaotically intermittent, environmentally destructive wind turbines and solar panels. Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore, released a film in the spring detailing the atrocities from renewables. Add 30 million EVs in the coming decades, and the British grid will implode. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is spending approximately 1.5 billion British Sterling Pound’s per year balancing their grid from shutting down.
The best cost estimates to build a modern grid in Britain or America came from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in 2011; in a report titled, Estimating the Costs and Benefits of the Smart Grid: A Preliminary Estimate of the Investment Requirements and the Resultant Benefits of a Full Functioning Smart Grid.
The EPRI estimated the cost would be $338 billion to $476 billion. Utility companies would need to invest between $17-24 billion per year to build a smart grid system in the U.S. with all costs passed onto consumers. This estimate didn’t account for climbing electrical rates and costs of incorporating wind, sun, and EVs onto the grid. Because of this, current estimates have the cost of a new grid starting at $5 trillion and climbing, since planning, land-use issues, and construction would take decades.
The most recent costs related to grids came from China in 2018-19. Beijing through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) spent $180.9 million to connect only 224,000 people from the capital of Maldives to a Maldivian island. From that, we can try to forward-project what it would cost for a new, modern smart grid in Britain, and the U.S.
Surely the cost is greater than the EPRI estimates, or even $5 trillion. The $180.9 million was simply to connect one island to another using the existing Maldivian grid. Do the British or a Biden administration have answers for these cost estimates? Or Biden’s Climate Plan that will decimate economic growth during a worldwide pandemic?
The other looming storm for the British or a Biden administration to achieve 30 million EVs is the energy density problem. The energy stored per pound and potential energy contained in oil molecules and fossil fuels is typically 1,500% greater pound for pound than other energy sources.
The British National Grid study never took into account total electricity, and higher energy density needed by using more fossil fuels, nuclear, or renewables to achieve fast charging capacity; additional transmission lines would need to be immediately built at existing and future gasoline/EV-charging filling stations.
The current British, American, or any grid in the world does not have the 3-fold capacity to handle tens of millions of EVs charging at the same time. But it’s the math that negates the British plan for 30 million EVs; or Joe Biden’s left-wing Democratic constituency’s dreams of a green future predicated on heavy EV penetration.
The electrical requirements for a typical gasoline-filling station, transitioning to an all-electric station “would have to have 30 megawatts of capacity, equivalent to the electricity use of 20,000 homes.” This new all-electric station would then need “600 of those 50kW (kilowatt) chargers for a station to service 2,000 cars in a 12-hour time frame.”
This estimate “would require a (approximately) $24-million investment just for the cheapest rechargers.” If the station is busier it could need enough electricity to power over 75,000 homes – “and that’s another (approximately) $30 million. For wind turbines, ten are needed, each costing roughly $4 million.” Those 10 windmills/turbines are only for one charger/former gasoline pump.
British wind farm inefficiencies since “2010 have discarded 8.7 TWh of electricity, this quantity of energy would be sufficient to provide 90% of all Scottish households with electricity for a year.”
All this electrical usage and charging or discarding of unused renewable electricity would likely take place during peak-usage, daylight hours, and unless mandated by law to only charge 30 million EVs at night. The U.S. under a Biden administration similar to the British would move towards an unsustainable, and national security risk by eliminating fossil fuels.
British and American advocates for this electric future envision decarbonization where electricity is only produced from renewables. Remember, renewable energy is only renewable electricity, and doesn’t consider the over 6,000 products that come from a barrel of crude oil. Britain and America are following unrealistic policies for electric vehicles and renewables. Neither has the grid – particularly, the British to accomplish their carbon-free, transportation goals.