The report, published today, suggests electricity demand will grow significantly by 2050, driven by increased electrification of transport and heating.
By 2030, there could be as many as 11 million electric vehicles on our roads, with this number more than tripling in the ten years after that to 36 million.
It also suggests the increase in electricity peak demand could be as little as 8GW in 2040 provided consumers charge vehicles at off peak times and through vehicle-to-grid technology.
Fintan Slye, Director, UK System Operator at National Grid, said: “The continued growth in electric vehicles, a greater volume of low carbon generation and the advancement of storage technology, are among the major trends that have emerged from this year’s report.“
This means balancing energy supply and demand will become increasingly complex between now and 2050.
“The growth of decentralised generation, meeting carbon reduction targets for heat and the continued importance of gas furthers the need for a co-ordinated approach across the whole industry.”
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “As we move towards a low carbon economy, we want to position the UK as a leader in clean and efficient power for transport and heating.
“Earlier this week we announced significant investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including £30 million R&D investment in smart charging points.“With demand for electricity expected to increase, gas has a key role to play in our energy mix.
“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we will continue to explore options for safe and secure domestic supplies of gas, such as hydrogen, biogas and natural gas from shale.”
Meanwhile Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, said: “National Grid’s forecast shows that consumer demand will rapidly make petrol and diesel emissions obsolete. We are on a road to zero emissions transport.
“We now need local leaders to support public demand and government ambition and create their own regional road to zero plans. Electrifying buses, taxis and light transport fleets are all easy wins.
“We are ready to support them with the infrastructure they need to realise that vision. By making it easy to switch to electric vehicles, we can help them clean up air pollution, promote low-carbon policies and develop a sustainable economy with better services for local people.”
Pivot Power is planning to build a network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle charging stations across the UK.
Charging stations will be fed directly by the extra-high-voltage transmission system and so will be able to offer mass charging at competitive rates, supporting up to 100 rapid 150kW chargers.
It plans to develop 45 sites around the country and have operational 50MW batteries at 10 within 18 months.
Each will provide a hub that can support a variety of infrastructure such as public rapid charging stations, electric bus depots and bases for large transport fleets.