After being accused by Scottish Power Chief Executive, Keith Anderson, of stalling the electric vehicle (EV) rollout in an article in The Guardian, Ofgem has issued a response.
On 19 October, Anderson claimed that following Ofgem’s refusal of his firm’s request to invest an extra £42mn in upgrading networks in Scotland and north-west England to prepare for the rising demand for EV chargers, the regulator was hindering the EV rollout. Anderson cited a “colossal disconnect” between Ofgem’s regulation and Britain’s climate policies.
Responding in a letter also published in The Guardian on 23 October, Ofgem’s Director of Network Price Control, Akshay Kaul, said the article had not fully reflected its position. Kaul outlined how £3bn had been handed to networks to reinforce local grids – including to accommodate low carbon demand for EVs – with greater funding available for companies if they develop innovations that they can prove can help drive forward decarbonisation.
However, the funding will only be made available if properly evidenced, and in Scottish Power’s case, the costs of its proposal had simply not been justified to the regulator, explained Kaul. This included not providing evidence about where the investment will take place, how much extra capacity will be provided or how it will be used by future EV users. Kaul added that Scottish Power, along with other network companies, can make the case again in 2020 for further funding.