Guest post by Stirling Habbitts, Project Finance of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Infrastructure at Triodos Bank
This week, Google announced that it is going to be launching a new Google Maps function that delivers real-time search results showing the location of electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the UK and USA.
The move shows that there has been a sea- change in how EVs are perceived – production and component costs for EVs are ever-reducing, while their performance improves and political will increases alongside consumer demand.
It seems that we are firmly en route to a low-carbon transport world and – as has been vividly highlighted by Extinction Rebellion, Sir David Attenborough and others over the last few weeks – the transition can’t come fast enough. Transport is the UK’s single largest sector for carbon emissions, and EVs will be at the vanguard of decarbonising the way we move.
At Triodos Bank, we talk a lot about ‘financing change’. We use money as a force for good by supporting the entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations that are working for a better world. Throughout our almost 40-year history, we’ve been at the forefront of financing measures to combat climate change, including some of the first wind turbines in Europe.
The brave new world that we find ourselves in now, however, poses some challenges for a bank that wants to drive positive environmental change. We urgently need to innovate to find the funding models that can support the EV sector. Where will the money come from for the infrastructure required for EV charging, for example, and what will this charging infrastructure look like?
‘Destination charging’ is a current buzzword, with questions around the potential for this to replace charging at home as a more user-friendly solution. There are discussions around whether ‘smart charging’ could catch on, even if it means people leaving their vehicle ‘half charged’ during times of peak power demand. And we wonder if the grid can cope with a rapid transition to EVs – or whether vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems will mean that EVs support the grid instead.
The wonderful thing about events like All-Energy and Dcarbonise is that they give us a forum to discuss these questions. Hopefully, our discussions can bring us closer to some of the answers, so that we can get on with decarbonising our transport system as quickly and fairly as possible.
Stirling Habbitts of Triodos Bank will be joined by representatives from Element Energy, Transport Scotland, IPT Technology, Locogen and Logan Energy to talk about these topics and more on Thursday 16th May (11:00 – 12:30 Alsh 1). Please do drop in and join them if you have the chance. Register for your free entry badge: https://www.all-energy.co.uk/register