Western Power Distribution (WPD) has released its latest mapped projection of how the energy network of the future will look across its service area.
The electricity network operator said it received “unprecedented” engagement with local authorities and other stakeholders for its latest Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES), which includes the Midlands, South West and South Wales.
By building a picture of stakeholders’ energy plans, WPD has mapped out possible scenarios to help inform its strategic network planning and investment. It includes expected growth in areas such as distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles (EV) and electrified heat.
The DFES also considers historic trends, current projects and local resources to create a range of scenarios, going beyond last year’s data to include projections out to 2050.
For example, in 2050 the consumer transformation scenario for the South West foresees more than 3.3GW of ground-mounted installed solar capacity and 1,880 EV charge points at car parks in the region. These can be compared to other technologies, service areas, scenarios and years using the interactive map.
WPD network strategy manager Ben Godfrey said the operator has taken all the data from local authorities’ development plans and also discussed the expected uptake of low carbon technologies, such as solar panels and heat pumps, to get an idea of how the network will look.
He said: “We’ve liaised with more than 100 local authorities, as well as Local Enterprise Partnerships and other stakeholders, to help us understand what the network needs to be able to do to meet customers’ expectations and the challenges of a rapidly changing energy landscape.”
WPD started sharing the mapped data on its website for the first time last year, in a move to allow anyone to understand, use and feedback on the data. Updated annually, the map can be viewed here.