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Renewables

How electric vehicles can support renewable energy sources

22 January, 2021
As part of the steps to reach carbon neutrality, the UK government plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The good news is, more and more benefits are being found with Electric Vehicles.

If you have concerns around the infrastructure, the UK Government are investing £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charge points in homes, streets across the UK and motorways across England.

As well as being cheaper, efficient to run and better for air quality, did you know that EVs can also help to balance energy systems in our homes and on the grid? This is achieved with V2H or V2G technology.
What is V2H/V2G?
V2H stands for “vehicle-to-home” whilst V2G is “vehicle-to-grid”. This is a technology that enables energy to be pushed back from the electric vehicle’s battery to power the connected property or grid.

With V2H/V2G technology, a car battery can be charged and discharged based on different signals — such as related energy production or consumption nearby.

The idea behind vehicle-to-grid is similar to regular vehicle smart charging (V1G). V1G charging, enables you to control the charging of the EV in a way that allows the power to be increased and decreased when needed or most cost effective. V2H/V2G enables the charged power to also be momentarily pushed back to the home or grid from car batteries to balance variations in energy production and consumption.
Why should I care about V2H/V2G?
Of course, one of the main qualities of EVs are their low impact on the environment. V2H/V2G helps mitigate climate change by allowing our energy system to balance more renewable energy.

The transport sector is doing its fair share of carbon reduction and the number of electric vehicles is increasing steadily. Electric vehicle batteries are by far the most cost-efficient form of energy storage, since they require no additional investments on hardware.

The yearly sales of EVs are expected to reach over 20 million before 2030, which means that we’ll have over 100 million comparatively tiny energy storages on wheels with an aggregated storage capacity of 5 TWh. Vehicle-to-grid technology enables us to make the best use of the existing population of vehicles.

Stationary energy storage is also becoming more common. This is a handy way of storing energy from, for instance, solar power arrays. These home batteries, together with solar panels and home EV charging stations, are a great way to balance out energy production and consumption in detached houses or small communities.
Where can I find V2H/V2G technology and devices?
Multiple hardware providers have developed device models compatible with V2G technology. Just like any other charging devices, V2H/V2G chargers already come in many shapes and sizes. Usually, the maximum charging power is around 10 kW — just enough for home or workplace charging.

If you’re planning on investing in a new car in the next few years, it’s worth considering purchasing an electric vehicle ahead of the game. V2H/V2G devices exist and are feasible, yet there's still room for improvement as the technology matures.

To discuss how you can incorporate this technology into your own green initiatives, please email John Wadeson, Renewable Energy on john.wadeson@theafgroup.co.uk
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