Electric vehicles (EVs) could offer 11GW of rapid flexibility to the UK’s energy grid by 2030.
That’s according to energy tech developer Open Energi, which suggests smart charging, which is when vehicles are charged automatically at optimal times, could support renewable generation, balance supply and demand and alleviate strain on the network.
The firm finds by 2020, an estimated 1.6 million EVs on the road could provide up to 550MW of turn-up flexibility and around 1.3GW of turn-down flexibility.
In 2030, with nine million EVs on the road, this rises to up to 3GW of turn-up and 8GW of turn-down flexibility.
This means rather than threatening grid stability with massive spikes of demand, EVs could be used as an asset to work for the benefit of the system.
For example, ‘optimal night-dispatch’ can ensure all vehicles are charged by the time they’ll be used the next day without compromising local network infrastructure by powering them up all at once.
Dago Cedillos, Strategy and Innovation Lead at Open Energi, said: “There has been a lot of attention given to the worst-case scenarios but smart charging technology means EVs can be managed to the benefit of the system and help accelerate our transition to a more reliable, affordable and sustainable energy future.”