Can electric cars and vans solve the renewable energy storage problem?
The four main electrical power distribution networks have just announced a two year project to test the viability of using the batteries of electric vehicle fleets (when parked up and connected to the grid for a long trickle charge) to balance the grid.
The two stage project will first test the impact on battery life and then produce a prototype vehicle equipped with validated processes and hardware.
It’s easy (certainly for me) to imagine a future when the majority of vehicles are electric and your electrical supply company buys electricity from you from your car battery when the software within the car tells the grid it has power to spare. Your car would always be connected for charging and exporting (grid balancing) when parked up at home and the grid would only draw back power during times of peak demand when your battery was fully charged. I haven’t done the maths but it could be that the massive storage capacity available will far exceed that needed to balance the grid to cope with intermittent renewables such as wind and PV.