Can EVs create grid reliability?

Can EVs create grid reliability?

While electric vehicles (EV) have caused questions about whether they have a negative impact on grid reliability, a new report found that they may actually have the opposite effect.

In China, a country that uses a large amount of wind and solar energy, EVs may help to stabilize their grid, according to a new study.

The study, "China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study," found that China could produce 60 percent of their primary energy demand from renewables by 2050 -- as well as cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60 percent. But that route will only be through a reliance on EVs for storage.

"In the future, we think the electricity vehicle could be the big contribution for power systems' stability, reliability," said Wang Zhongying, director of the China National Renewable Energy Center and deputy director general of the Energy Research Institute at China's National Development and Reform Commission, according to Forbes.

Wang explained that technological and institutional innovation will be a bigger obstacle in China than the economy, and EVs could help store renewable energy to be used even during nighttime hours. According to Wang, the "Energy Internet by 2025" will efficiently integrate EV, smart network, and demand response, and annual installation of wind and solar power are each expected to hit 100 gigawatts (GW).

According to the report, EVs will become a "pillar of the vehicle industry or even national economy by 2025," and a mass deployment could bring five million new EVs to Beijing.

A customer who has solar or wind technology can supplement that energy by storing any excess in their EV until the sun goes down, and then sell it back to the grid during peak hours. According to Wang, an additional five million EVs -- each with a capacity of 40 kWh -- could stabilize the Beijing grid enough to counteract wind and solar.

As capacity increases, the needed vehicles will decrease. For instance, if an EV's range increases to 400 miles, it would only take an additional two million EVs on the road to counteract Beijing's demand.


Smart Grid Bulletin July 2019

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