The transport sector accounts for nearly 30% of final energy consumption and close to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. At the local level, it affects the quality of life of those who live in France. With this in mind, public authorities at the national, European and local levels are adopting policies to encourage the development of cleaner transport options. While electric vehicles are not the only way to decarbonise the transport sector, there is no question that e-mobility will take off thanks to the measures adopted by actors across the industry. RTE has consequently been regularly called upon by stakeholders to continue the initiatives announced in the 2017 Generation Adequacy Report. It set up a working group, led jointly with AVERE, that will consult with all interested parties and use the results as the basis for scenarios and analyses looking at all the ways the development of e-mobility will impact the French power system. This working group’s report was published on 15 May 2019.
The power system can accommodate the development of e-mobility
• In 2035, e-mobility would account for an estimated 10% of total electricity demand at the most. The generation mix described in the Multiannual Energy Programme is more than sufficient to accommodate this new electricity use. Load scenarios vary greatly depending on assumptions about the degree to which charging will be controlled and other general characteristics: between +8 GW under the worst-case scenario for the power system and -5.2 GW under a very favourable scenario, with the winter peak reaching around 100 GW.
• Long-distance journeys account for a small share of total distance travelled every year, and become a bigger factor at times (summer, weekends) when the power system has abundant surpluses. Vigilance would nonetheless be required if there was a cold spell during the year-end holiday period. In other words, day-to-day travel will be the biggest challenge for the power system, as demand could be concentrated around the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm peak period if charging is not controlled.
• Though not a technical prerequisite to accommodating e-mobility, smart charging has no downside for the power system. In addition to smoothing charging-related demand, based on the generating mix described in the Multiannual Energy Programme, it would make it possible to adjust demand to a considerable degree on a daily and weekly basis to reflect variations in renewable generation.
Relation between the electricity mix and transport electrification: Significant economic gains
• Generating the power to charge electric vehicles represents a very small percentage of the full cost of mobility and will only make up 5% of the full cost of the power system in 2035. Actual costs will depend on the degree of smart charging.
• Widespread adoption of smart charging leads to collective savings of close to €1 million a year with, in the short term, less curtailment of renewable energy production and less adjustment of nuclear production and, over the medium term, a reduction in the need to develop or maintain peak capacities.
• Based on targets set for the electricity mix, the development of e-mobility will mean:
– Less need to subsidise renewable energy sources,
– More electricity price stability and fewer instances of low or negative prices,
– The ability to charge vehicles at times when electricity prices are lowest.
See the Generation Adequacy Report
Detailed consumption forecasts and projected trends linked to end-uses can be found in this year’s edition of the RTE Generation Adequacy Report.