Scotland would need to be entirely covered by wind farms in order to generate sufficient electricity to drive all of Britains’ battery-powered vehicles (BPVs)
Jack Ponton, Emeritus Professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, said another 16,000 turbines would be required in order to replace petrol and diesel cars with BPVs
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to phase out traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2032, eight years ahead of England.
But Prof Ponton said that, even if the issues of power generation and charging points were sorted out, National Grid plc could simply not cope with the increased demand.
He said: “It is a nice idea as electric cars are much more efficient, cleaner and actually simpler devices than the current internal combustion engine vehicles.
“Technically, it is an excellent idea. But the problem starts when you begin to think, ‘Where are you going to get the energy to run them?’.
“I’ve seen three different estimates for the amount of new generating capacity that we would need if were going to have all the cars in Britain running on electricity.
“The most detailed calculation says we’d be looking at five Hinkley nuclear stations to run this. It would be the best way, the most efficient way to get electricity because nuclear power stations can run 90 per cent of the time.
“If you want to do this with wind turbines, you are talking about 16,000 more wind turbines, four times as many as we have at the moment, and I’ve estimated that would occupy some 90,000 square kilometres, which is approximately the size of Scotland.”
Prof. Ponton – a member of Scientific Alliance Scotland, a group which promotes open-minded debate on issues such as climate change – believes the plan is “unworkable”.
He said Britain’s electricity distribution network was simply not built with such a huge demand in mind and would need replacing at a massive cost and disruption.”
31 Oct 2017