A WA energy expert says an electric vehicle subsidy would go a long way in avoiding an impending energy crisis, warning more mass blackouts are on the cards if no action is taken.
Martin Jurat, director of Amanda Energy, says a State Government electric vehicle subsidy would significantly help to stabilise WA’s grid, in order to prevent a repeat performance on January 10 where more than 100,000 homes lost power.
“There is a far greater risk from solar in homes and businesses.... When grid demand drops to around 700 or 800 megawatts midday due to solar, the grid can’t generate electricity quick enough to ramp it back up. That is going to happen in the next few years,” Mr Jurat said.
“When your electric vehicle is plugged in anywhere, we can develop the technology, and it’s being developed in Australia, where system management that has to try and balance this load can suck some of the electricity out of the electric vehicle instantly back onto the grid to balance that load.”
Figures from the Electric Vehicle Council show a total of 6718 electric vehicles were sold in Australia last year, three times as many as the 2216 sold in 2018.
Mr Jurat said the barriers to more people buying electric vehicles was the cost and misconceptions about how long it takes for the vehicle to charge.
“The big difference is the government helping now is going to stave a crash in the short to medium term future, and it’s going to continue paying dividends pretty much going forward, we’re looking at a renewable society it’s going to pay dividends all the way forward.”
Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said the McGowan government was rolling out a number of initiatives to increase the take-up of electric vehicles in WA.
“We’ve so far installed 17 charging stations across the State, introduced a new electric vehicle tariff to provide a significant discount to EV owners who charge their vehicles between 11pm and 4am, new Government buildings (such as the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation) are becoming EV ready, and various government agencies are trialling electric vehicles,” Mr Kelly said.
“We’re also currently working to develop the State’s first-ever State Electric Vehicle Strategy,” he said.
“The biggest drag on electric vehicle take-up in Australia is the negativity from the Federal Liberal-National Government. During the 2019 Federal Election campaign, the Liberal-National Government ran a scare campaign claiming electric vehicles would ‘end the weekend’ for Australians.”
The UK last week announced it would ban petrol and hybird cars by 2035, five years earlier than previously planned as part of a scheme to reduce the UK’s emissions to net zero by 2050.
Author: Meilin Chew