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Energy Transition: The Scale Of Investment

The great majority of automotive industry leaders will tell you that the world is moving towards electric cars. They are correct, but they are only scratching the surface of the story. The real story is about the energy transition that is anchored by electricity.


This is not about the source of the electricity, it is not about the 'green' credentials of any source, and it is not even about the reliability of the electricity grid.


The future’s electricity story is all about the scale of investment. The EU is installing approximately 2,000 public charging stations each week. This sounds like a good pace as they head towards their 2030 target of reducing CO2 from passenger cars by 55%. However, the actual pace, according to McKinsey, needs to be 14,000 charging stations per week at an annual cost of $11 CAD billion per year for the next 8 years.


Recently we have been talking about the electrification of transportation in Canada by 2050. This has led to a discussion about whether Canada needs to build more infrastructure to support this shift.


The Canadian Energy Research Institute published a report that looked at the logistics related to having every car in Canada be electric by 2050.


The study did not worry about where the electricity would be generated but did point out that Enmax will need to more than double the capacity of its transmission grid. Digging up streets, installing new substations, and running more HV lines will require billions of dollars in investment.


As the world's energy landscape rapidly changes, we must take a moment to reflect on how best to manage the changes.


After all, the logistics of the energy transition will not be simple, and if they are not well planned they will be overly costly. Good project management, or carpentry, says measure twice... cut once. It is worrying that so few decision-makers talk about what the transition will take.


With so many technologies available and so many opportunities for business models to be developed, we need to look at what processes we can create with smart foresight and planning. This can allow us to leverage existing data and resources as well as identify potential issues that may arise during implementation.