Demand side management will have a “significant role” to play in integrating electric vehicles (EVs) to the grid.
That’s the view of Stewart Reid, Head of Asset Management and Innovation at SSE Networks, who spoke to ELN at the All Party Design and Innovation Group’s (APDIG) event this week about the future of EVs in the UK.
The network operator is currently involved in two main EV initiatives, one being the Smart EV project, which aims to create a standard for charging points to allow it to use demand side management in a consistent way across the UK.
It is also part of the EV Network Group, which is a large group of stakeholders, including the AA and Energy UK, that makes sure “everyone understands everyone else’s perspectives” about the integration of EVs rather than make assumptions.
Mr Reid believes demand side management will be crucial “at the beginning and end of the transition”.
He told ELN: “Initially we’ll be using it a lot for the likes of clusters because clusters will be one of the first challenges that electric vehicles will bring us.
“At the end of the curve though, when you start to get large impacts of the overall system in the UK, that’s when demand side response for system balancing will start to come in. So you could argue there’s almost demand side management at both ends and not so important in the middle, which is an interesting concept. That’s what the reality would be.”
Mr Reid added if EVs took off in a big way, they would require network upgrades, which would ultimately be passed on to energy bills.
He said: “Ultimately, if there’s money being spent on reinforcing the network for electric vehicles, that will result in costs. The current structure of the industry is these costs are spread across customers in the UK so that would have a small impact on bills of all customers.
“Our job is to make sure we’re not just chucking money at the problems but we’re actually doing in a smart way so using monitoring, using smart meter information, using demand side management, energy storage – all these different things to keep that impact to a minimum.”
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has launched a new inquiry, which will examine barriers to the development of the EV market and the support it needs to progress.