AS an island nation, any future supply of energy must be plentiful, affordable and reliable.
And I include our gas and oil in the renewable and nuclear mix.
So, with emphasis on affordability, let me, this week, drill down into the rush for electric vehicles (EVs).
It’s interesting to note that a 2021 report by the European Environment Agency found that emissions from their production are up to 59 per cent higher than those for petrol and diesel cars.
The difference is due to the lithium batteries, for which mining and processing account for more than half of an EV’s cradle-to-grave emissions, according to scientist and Peer, Matt Ridley.
It would seem that the gap between aspiration and reality continues to grow.
While new EV sales now account for 12.5 per cent of the market, notable snags remain.
They are expensive to buy and increasingly costly to charge.
On reliability, there are serious concerns over long distances.
So-called ‘range anxiety’, where battery life is shorter than advertised, is especially common in cold weather.
Recent research showed that, of 25,000 public rapid recharging points, 5,000 were out of use.
This bodes ill for the estimated 250,000 needed by 2030.
Meanwhile, JCB tycoon Lord Bamford believes that EVs will never work for large construction machinery.
He fears our obsession with EVs risks missing out on options like hydrogen, which is already being successfully exploited in Europe.
Strategically, I am not sure relying entirely on electric vehicles is very wise, either.
A power failure, for one reason or another, will see the country come to a grinding halt.
There is a place for EVs in cities and towns, but we need a more sustainable fuel for the longer term.