Vehicle-to-Grid rollout could deliver £880m in annual savings
Innovative Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) projects, whereby electric vehicles (EVs) act as a form of distributed energy storage, could deliver cost savings of up to £880m annually while reducing emissions from power networks, according to new research.
Research published through a collaboration involving carmaker Nissan, energy giant E.ON and Imperial College London has outlined the economic and environmental benefits that can be delivered by a rollout of V2G technology.
V2G is a concept that enables plug-in vehicles to act as a form of distributed energy storage by providing demand-response services to the power grid. The batteries in parked vehicles can be used to let electricity flow from the car to the distribution network and back based on demand needs.
Nissan and E.ON have been championing the technology through the e4Future project which is being funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), in partnership with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.
Research from the collaborative project has found that accelerated widespread adoption of V2G through enabling government policies could unlock cost savings between £410m and £885m annually over the next decade. This would be delivered if the upfront capital and operational expenditure were offset through incentivising policies.
Doing so, the organisations state, would enable carbon emissions from the power system to be reduced, as vehicles use, store and supply clean energy in relation to grid demand. This would also deliver savings on system operation costs of around £12,000 annually per EV, and carbon reductions of around 60 tonnes per EV each year.
For businesses looking to incorporate V2G as part of a fleet transition to electric and low-carbon vehicles, the research found that up to £1,250 in benefits could be gained per vehicle.
Nissan Motor GB’s managing director Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director said: “There is enormous potential in vehicle-to-grid to deliver huge savings, both in financial terms for electricity system operators and vehicle fleets, and in environmental terms, by significantly cutting CO2 emissions across the UK power system. Nissan is at the forefront of efforts to realise this potential.”
In August, Nissan installed 20 EV chargers with V2G capabilities at its European Technical Centre in Cranfield, as it works to develop new ‘smart’ mobility packages for business customers.
Through the trial, vehicles were connected to chargers at intervals designed to replicate corporate fleet schedules – mainly overnight, but also for chunks of time during the day. E.ON’s virtual power plant software and a digital EV charging platform provided by Virta automates charging and energy export in line with signals such as grid demand, energy prices and the carbon intensity of the energy mix.
The benefits of V2G on a national scale were outlined in a recent study of consortium experts including Nissan, Energy Systems Catapult, Cenex, Western Power Distribution, Element Energy and Moixa, which concluded that connecting EVs to the grid could cut £270m a year off the cost of running the UK power system by 2030.
Nissan hopes the trial will evidence the business case for V2G charging for a range of sectors, as it strives to launch “smart” mobility services for commercial clients in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy.
Electric Nation V2G
In related news, a V2G trial located in the Midlands, South West and South Wales is seeking homes to trial relevant technology to explore how simple the concept is for people to use.
The Electric Nation V2G trial is being delivered by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge, who have announced Green Energy UK as one of its four energy partners.
Electric Nation is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners across those areas to take part in smart grid trials. Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for the trial due to bespoke charging technology.
EV owners will be offered Green Energy UK’s ‘TIDE’ time of use tariff, which offers off-peak rates for charging vehicles when electricity prices are at their lowest.