VW might power your home
VW might power your home

For obvious reasons, Australia has a very high take-up of household solar electricity generation (it is often sunny!). As a result, the Australian Energy Market Commission has reportedly proposed changes to the tariffs paid to households generating solar electricity. The AEMC has “argued a change was necessary because the current system is unsustainable as the huge uptake in household solar has overloaded the grid, and the alternative would mean more solar users being blocked from exporting their energy.”

The Isle of Man has similar risks to the stability of our electricity grid if there is too much intermittent electricity (eg, solar and wind). However, there is a new possibility to reduce the risk: electric vehicle batteries being used to smooth the supply.

Bloomberg reports:

From 2022 onwards, new electric vehicle models from VW will support something called bi-directional charging. This means an EV can push power from the battery back up to the electrical grid – or to a home – and potentially be compensated for that service…

…the potential benefits to the power system are big. A recent [Bloomberg New Energy Finance] study on the technology found that if half of all cars in Germany were EVs and were providing 10 kilowatt hours per day – charging up on renewable power and discharging during times of high fossil fuel generation – it could reduce the amount of power generation from fossil fuels needed by 76% by 2040. Ten kilowatt hours is what an average EV needs to drive around 60 kilometers (37 miles). That might be an unrealistic goal, but even 2 kilowatt hours per day could make it a lot easier for electricity grid operators to integrate large amounts of wind and solar generation.

…VW isn’t alone in pursing V2G. The Nissan Leaf is currently the only mass production EV on the market to support bi-directional charging today. Hyundai, Kia and Lucid all have future vehicles that the companies say will include this capability.

Hyperdrive Daily: EVs Feeding the Power Grid