Almost three-quarters (72%) of distribution executives believe electric vehicle (EV) growth globally will be more rapid than the speed at which the necessary grid capacity can be built to accommodate them, states a report by consultancy Accenture.

electrical grids silhouetted by a sunset
Electrical grids in Iraq, January 2021. (Photo by Asaad Niazi/ AFP via Getty Images)

The research, surveying 250 such executives, argues electricity grids are ill-prepared to respond to structural changes in energy generation and consumption caused by the deployment of low-carbon technologies.

Distributed generation, more active customers and widespread electrification will all potentially place strain on grids.

Low-carbon technologies such as EVs and solar PV will “exist in clusters” largely dictated by demographics. This could lead to localised stress on the network, adds the report.

The development of a regulatory framework would help to boost future network resilience, the report states. Eighty per cent of respondents believe regulators are waiting for distribution businesses to propose models that incentivise flexibility.