Before we start talking about Electric Vehicles, the National Grid and Charging Infrastructure, lets remember the historic fact that makes all of this so relevant today – “Back in the 1900’s, EV market share was at 34%”
Could we be facing a history repeat moment?
EV Charging Infrastructure should be renewable
I was glad to be a part of the discussion about harnessing the immense Electric Vehicle opportunity. Speakers from the Clean Energy Business Council, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, ATA Insights, and Engie all came together to deliver interesting insights and views. The main topic was EVs but also addressed was Grid-Balancing; which of course for Solisco is promising to hear. After all, Solisco’s innovative Solar Carport Systems are equipped to do just that. We offer a solution to power our cars with renewable energy, whilst helping to balance the grid by storing peak energy in EV batteries.
And, with the recent announcement that the government will be investing £20 million to help develop vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows electric vehicles to return spare energy back into the grid – there are even more reasons as to why EV charging infastructure should be renewable.
Future Forecast on EV numbers – Bloomberg New Energy Finance
According to Colin Mckerracher, Head of Advanced Transport at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, three years ago we were sitting at 200,000 Electric Vehicles globally. Now we are at over 1 million.
In the UK in particular, we are currently at 100,000 Electric Vehicles with a forecast of that figure to really take off in 2020. The two main reasons being –
- BEV models become more widely available
- Prices that will be as affordable as their gasoline counterparts due to battery costs declining
By 2040, the figures for EVs on a global scale is very promising. It is particularly interesting looking at the comparison of Electric Vehicles vs. internal combustion engine vehicles.
The National Grid – How will it manage this demand?
So, as electric vehicles are forecasted to rise exponentially over the next few years, charging infrastructure is key.
The UK’s grid operator, National Grid describes the anticipated situation as: “with falling minimum demands on the transmission system, we anticipate there maybe times this summer when there is more generation on the system than is needed.”
The country’s solar capacity, which has grown at an astounding rate over the last decade, fundamentally reshapes supply and demand curves. Growth has been so rapid that solar momentarily hit a record high of 26% of electricity supply early April 2017. (Wind also hit a record 20.59% earlier in the same day.)
‘Demand TurnUp Programme’
With these successes, however, come growing pains. As the National Grid statement quote from above makes clear, there are going to be times when the grid is strained by more supply than demand. That is why the National Grid is planning on curtailing some power production during sunny days. The company is also increasing its investments in demand-side adjustments through its so-called Demand TurnUp program. This is whereby businesses are rewarded for shifting energy-intensive operations to times of peak supply.
Our Solar Carport Systems
Solisco EV Solar Carport Systems can cater for this dilemma as the PV Power generated during peak hours is stored in the EV’s batteries, rather than being fed in to the Grid.
A typical Solisco Solar Carport for 5 cars will generate around 10Kwp. But, if 5 cars are on charge simultaneously, they could require from 35kW-110 kW. The smart charge points we offer with our carports can be set to charge during peak hours when there is potentially an overcapacity of PV power. This will definitely help to balance the grid. It will also reduce the strain on the grid later in the day. This is when the growing number of EV drivers arrive back from work and plug in at home to charge while TV’s, kettles, cookers and lighting are switched on also.
Therefore, it is important to install more charging infrastructure in the locations where Electric Vehicles are parked during the day. Also, combine new PV installations with EV charging solutions that store solar energy in the thousands of EV batteries. These will prevent overloading the grid.
Solisco’s Innovative Solar EV Carports Systems do just that. We offer a balanced solution to power our cars with renewable energy whilst helping to balance the grid.
Director, Solisco Ltd