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  • Mark

Mining for the truth

A common objection to the electric revolution is that one is simply moving pollution from exhausts to the coal power stations. I’ve addressed this in my sites FAQ section as understanding the fallacy of this claim is crucial to appreciating the importance of the electric revolution.

Firstly it has to be made clear that EV’s are fuel agnostic. That is – they don’t care where the electricity you use to charge them comes from. This is crucial because as we will explain this can and already is improving tremendously. Petrol or diesel cars WILL NEVER become environmentally friendly. But the ‘grid’ is getting greener every day.

Not only that, people would be shocked to discover that even the UK which is by no means a world leader in renewables; the share of generation from coal decreased from 2.0 per cent in 2017 Q2 to a record low of 1.6 per cent in 2018 Q2. Recently the BBC reported on the record of two full weeks without using coal ( – and there were other records too. “On 14 May, Britain generated a quarter of its energy from the sun - the largest proportion yet.”

CarbonBrief reckon the UK is on track for ‘close to half’ of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.

And whilst all this is very good news for electric cars it’s about as good news as the price of tea in China for ICE (internal combustion engine) cars.

But as an avid follower of these developments I was surprised that energy storage seems to have been overlooked. And I think a recent article in the Express (thank G-D for Google suggestions or I’d never have seen it – don’t worry I cross checked any ‘facts’ with other sources) which expanded on Nissan’s recent finding that LEAF batteries are likely to outlast the cars themselves by 10-12 years – allowing for a good supply of static storage capacity as the batteries second-life. Indeed the revelation of the batteries lifetime was already known (I have personally carried out battery health checks on high mileage electric taxis) and enough data is around to disprove the myth of battery degradation worries generally. No doubt a great deal of EV batteries will be repurposed into static storage. Static storage is where battery ‘banks’ can charge using surplus electric from any source (typically excess wind or solar) and then release it into the grid during periods of less wind/sun or greater demand. And lots of static storage is just what a national grid based on a great deal of renewable energy needs to balance out the wind/sun/tide proclivities.

So there’s something to look forward to.

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