2 thoughts on “The case against Britain’s Soviet-style 5-year socket plan”

  1. Posted 23/11/2021 at 22:36 | Permalink

    Wow Andy, I like a lot of IEA thought pieces, but I think you are having a bad day here.

    On the practicalities, no one who knows about this area thinks we will be using other fuels like hydrogen or biofuel. All surface vehicles will electrify, (to the huge benefit of the public). Once you have fitted the cabling, etc. for your 7kW charger it will be good forever, you might need a different connector or fancy a three phase supply in future, but that’s a nice to have. (Every EV can take 7kWs, they just may not be able to benefit from rapid chargers in other places. Even then cars will be replaced with newer models.)

    I agree on markets delivering the best solutions in general, but only an extremist believes they don’t need regulation. I also agree on care around obsolete standards, but industry has already progressed that, and it is not what this requirement is about.

    EV uptake, like solar, wind and heat pumps will drive a revolution in super cheap travel and energy unleashing amazing economic opportunity. All of the above have been accelerated by subsidies/incentives/regulation. A lot of the regulation has been inefficient and poorly targeted but not all. Without it we would not be in a position where solar energy is now the cheapest energy ever made, without subsidies.

    Some small requirement to accelerate the deployment of chargepoints could well encourage people to buy EVs and that will increase the speed at which they decline in price and that super cheap, clean transport future we all want. You might think of better ways, but it seems a reasonable approach. (Similar for condensing boilers, double glazing, lighting, etc,)

    The question for the IEA should be, if government has decided we need to electrify road vehicles by x date, what is the best way to regulate that change, most cheaply and harnessing market processes.

  2. Posted 24/11/2021 at 09:16 | Permalink

    The interesting thing here Barny, is that if you are correct, and the future is predictably all EV , and further it’s going to be super cheap, the Government need do nothing, bar maintain some carbon price pressure on fossil fuel options, which as noted above are already extremely high. Market forces will do the rest.

    Interfering with those signals by encouraging the provision of sockets to homes that are unlikely to have EVs is clearly both poor resource allocation and a weak nudge given the relative cost of the car to the power source. Largely it will be irrelevant to the uptake of EVs while irritating those saddled with the cost of their removals or upgrade.

    And no the question for the IEA is not ‘what wise things should the Government do to meet the Government’s wise plan’, it’s also to question the wisdom, both of the plan and the proposals made.

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