Distributed Energy

V2G Solutions

EVs can help California reach clean energy goals.

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California has set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through both the addition of renewable energy generation sources and the electrification of transportation. But these concurrent initiatives have raised questions about how the grid will accommodate the additional resources and coordinate demand.

Three policies are in place to advance the state’s clean energy efforts.

  • Governor Jerry Brown’s Zero-Emissions Mandate (ZEV) requires the deployment of 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles by 2025.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) obliges California power producers to ensure that 33% of grid energy comes from renewable generation by 2020 and 50% by 2030.
  • To ensure grid stability given the intermittency of renewable energy generation, California has also instated an energy storage mandate, requiring the installation of 1.3 GW of stationary storage by the end of 2024.
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A new study published in Environmental Research Letters reveals that there may be a synergistic opportunity within these three initiatives. The team of researchers, led by Jonathan CoignardSamveg Saxena, et al. found that electric vehicles (EVs) could support the grid in managing the demand curve by storing energy when production is high and charging during low-demand hours.

The team came to this conclusion by quantifying the potential for EVs to support the grid. First, researchers studied the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) 2014 historical and 2021 forecast daily net loads to identify the most salient issues within the duck curve. Then, they calculated the impact of the projected addition of 1.5 million EVs.

They determined that vehicle connectivity to the grid, and specifically controlled charging, would have a profoundly positive impact on the projected demand curve since grid-integrated vehicles can time the charging cycle to moderate peaks and valleys in the net-load curve. With regard to over-generation issues, the study found that almost 5 GW of renewables curtailment can be avoided with a combination of vehicles featuring one-way and two-way charging—significantly more than the 1.3 GW mandated stationary storage would offer.  

“By displacing the need for construction of new stationary grid storage, EVs can provide a dual benefit of decarbonizing transportation while lowering the capital costs for widespread renewables integration,” the study’s authors explain. “These benefits are not limited to California but are applicable worldwide whenever EVs and renewables generation become widespread.”

What are your thoughts? Do you think that California’s Energy Storage Mandate can be accomplished through the controlled charging of electric vehicles? DE_bug_web

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  1. Of course, but it works better as V2H and H2G (vehicle to home, home to grid), so that your home can be grid independent.

  2. Why do I want a system of transportation controlled by the government more than it is already. I need to travel 400 miles, but can only have a vehicle that travels 300 miles on a charge and must be charged between 2:00 am and 5 am the following day. Now I need to stay in a hotel so the police do not run me out of town for sleeping in my vehicle that cannot be moved because it ran out of electricity. How is this an advancement? It looks like we are going backwards. Less productivity and more restrictions on how things get done. It sounds like a great way to kill incentive to do better. We will become the third-world country our previous president so wanted. By the way, how will California pay for the roads with no petroleum tax? When will the drivers of electric vehicles and bicycles along with pedestrians start paying their fair share for roads, trails, paths, and sidewalks and stop taking from those that drive vehicles propelled by gasoline or diesel?

  3. It’s a plausible and creative initiative that is worth the try but first the project should commence with a district pilot scheme before extending to other cities. I believe along the line this scheme a open a new vista in the hybrid energy power revolution

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