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Electricity

Pradyumna Bhagwat

Topic of the Month

27.02.2017

Driving on the electricity highway

Written by Pradyumna Bhagwat It is estimated that one in every hundred cars sold today is powered by electricity. The yearly sales of electric vehicles (EVs), […] read more

Electricity

Pradyumna Bhagwat

Topic of the Month

21.02.2017

The “balancing act” of integrating batteries into the market

Written by Pradyumna Bhagwat The use of fast responding resources such as batteries for balancing services has the potential to improve operational and economic efficiency and […] read more

Electricity

Pradyumna Bhagwat

Topic of the Month

14.02.2017

Batteries: Who will master the jack of all trades?

Written by Pradyumna Bhagwat One of the key debates on the topic of batteries revolves around its ownership. In this context, ownership could be defined, as […] read more

Electricity

Pradyumna Bhagwat

Topic of the Month

7.02.2017

Batteries: The jack of all trades

Written by Pradyumna Bhagwat The EU 2020 energy and climate targets have led to a significant increase in the share of renewable energy sources in the […] read more

Electricity

ilaria conti, jean-michel, nicolo rosetto

News

6.02.2017

3 Ds scenarios: the regulatory challenges in the age of Decarbonisation, Digitalisation and Decentralisation

What is the right balance between data protection and security on one hand and innovation and competition on the other? What are the main regulatory […] read more

Electricity

Leonardo Meeus

Topic of the Month

31.01.2017

My take on distributed electricity storage

Written by Leonardo Meeus The issue with existing batteries is that they suck Here is an abstract from the speech Elon Musk gave in 2015 to […] read more

Electricity

Leonardo Meeus

Topic of the Month

25.01.2017

My take on electric vehicle charging infrastructure debate

Written by Leonardo Meeus At an FSR Regulatory Policy Workshop this month, jointly organised by the transport and energy colleagues, we learned that the electric vehicle […] read more

Electricity

Leonardo Meeus

Topic of the Month

19.01.2017

My take on TSO-DSO Coordination debate

Written by Leonardo Meeus Farewell to fit and forget Distribution grids were referred to as a boring business. “Fit and forget” was the motto. Investments were […] read more

Electricity

Leonardo Meeus

Topic of the Month

11.01.2017

Top 5 nicknames for the EU clean energy package

Written by Leonardo Meeus With a US president that is likely to go backward in the energy transition, we can only applaud the European Commission proposals […] read more

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Pradyumna Bhagwat

Driving on the electricity highway

- Electricity

Written by Pradyumna Bhagwat

It is estimated that one in every hundred cars sold today is powered by electricity. The yearly sales of electric vehicles (EVs), considering both battery (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid (PHEVs), in the EU has increased from roughly 700 vehicles in 2010 to 149,500 in 2015.[1] Globally, the threshold of 1 million electric cars on the road was exceeded in 2015, finishing with 1.26 million at the end of the year.[2] Considering the automotive industry at large, the numbers may seem insignificant, but the trend indicates that the penetration of electric vehicles will increase rapidly in the coming years.

The rising number of electric vehicles has led to some concerns regarding its impact on the electrical system. The system may be put at risk due to a significant growth in the electricity consumption and the increase in unpredictability of consumption patterns owing to vehicle charging. Nevertheless, with the use of smart Vehicle to Grid (V2G) solutions, electric vehicles could become a solution rather than a problem by contributing significantly in integrating intermittent renewables into the system and by providing ancillary services. Apart from the system level benefits, permitting EVs to participate in the electricity markets would present new revenue generation opportunities for vehicle owners. This in turn would further improve the business case for EVs by reducing overall costs.

EVs as an electricity market participant

The primary function of EVs is to provide a sustainable alternative for transportation. However, when these vehicles are idle or parked, they may be viewed as a distributed storage resource (similar to a stationary battery) that can be used to provide flexibility to the system.[3] It has been demonstrated in literature that from a techno-economic perspective, electric vehicles are best suited for short-term power regulation and thus participating in ancillary markets could prove to be the most attractive option.[4] The UK’s National Grid foresees that by 2030, electric vehicles and heat pumps could contribute up to 80% of the country’s frequency response requirements.[5]

Examples of ongoing trials on market participation of EVs

Various trials are being carried out around the world to study the possibility of using EVs for grid services. The University of Delaware and Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) independent system operator have been studying the possibility of using EVs for providing grid services since 2007.[6] The aim of the study is to evaluate the viability of using EVs for frequency regulation and as spinning reserves.[7] According to media reports, as of 2014, the pilot project was able to earn roughly $110 per vehicle per month for providing these services to the grid.[8]

In May 2016, Italian power company ENEL and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan announced plans of conducting V2G trials in the UK. The trial will consist of installing one hundred V2G units at various locations for Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric van. These units will provide owners of these vehicles the ability to provide grid services.[9] Since August 2016, a similar project has been undertaken by ENEL in Denmark where, 10 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) units have been installed at the headquarters of the Danish utility Frederiksberg Forsyning.[10]

Gazing into the crystal ball

The early results from pilot studies appear to be promising. However, it is important to err on the side of caution as several hurdles still exist. One such hurdle is that the technology (hardware and software) for enabling a truly seamless V2G experience for the user is still maturing. Another is that the usage pattern for EVs appears to be changing from a single user to a multi-user (shared) approach. It may be relatively easy to integrate an EV that is parked most of the time and which has a predictable usage pattern. However integrating a shared vehicle may be much more challenging. In the coming months, further results from pilot projects would reveal much. Nevertheless one thing is certain, EVs are here to stay and will be pivotal not only in redefining the transportation market but also the electricity market.

[1]http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/electric-vehicles-in-europe

[2]https://www.iea.org/media/topics/transport/GlobalEVOutlook2016FLYER.pdf

[3]Tomić, J., Kempton, W., 2007. Using fleets of electric-drive vehicles for grid support. J. Power Sources 168, 459–468.

[4]Donada, C., Perez, Y., 2016. Editorial: Electromobility at the crossroads. Int. J. Automot. Technol. Manag. 16.

[5]http://www2.nationalgrid.com/UK/Industry-information/Future-of-Energy/Technology-reports/

[6]https://learn.pjm.com/energy-innovations/plug-in-electric.aspx

[7]Kempton, W., Udo, V., Huber, K., Komara, K., Letendre, S., Baker, S., Brunner, D., Pearre, N., 2008. A test of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) for energy storage and frequency regulation in the PJM system. Results from an Ind. Res. Partnersh. 32.

[8] https://www.wsj.com/articles/electric-vehicles-sell-power-back-to-the-grid-1411937796

[9]https://www.enel.com/en/media/press/d201605-nissan-and-enel-launch-groundbreaking-vehicle-to-grid-project-in-the-uk.html

[10] https://www.enel.com/en/media/press/d201608-nissan-enel-and-nuvve-operate-worlds-first-fully-commercial-vehicle-to-grid-hub-in-denmark.html

 

Read the previous article: The “balancing act” of integrating batteries into the market