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V2G ‘could cut £270m a year off cost of running UK power system’

Plugging electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid could cut £270 million a year off the cost of running the UK power system by 2030, a new report has claimed.

The projected savings are included in a new analysis of the long-term viability of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology, which allows EVs to support the electricity network by storing power when it is abundant then feeding it back into the grid at peak times.

The study, compiled by a consortium of experts including Cenex, Element Energy, Energy Systems Catapult, National Grid ESO, Nissan, Moixa and Western Power Distribution, looked at both near-term niche and enduring large-scale opportunities for the use of V2G.

The report estimates that V2G technology could help avoid £200 million of investment in the distribution network by 2030 by reducing peak demand on the grid, compared with unmanaged charging.

Modelling carried out by the consortium estimates that controlling when EVs charge could save £180 million a year across the whole energy system by 2030, compared with unmanaged charging. It projects that V2G would increase annual savings by £40 to £90 million.

It found that a 7kW home V2G charger could earn £436 a year by providing services to support the power network, if it was plugged in 75% of the time. However, it shows that current plug-in rates appear to be low – at around 30%.

The report stresses that to make residential V2G charging economically viable in the near future, there will need to be a combination of high plug-in rates, a cut in the costs of installing frequency response metering equipment and the ability to stack multiple revenue streams and move easily between them.

To achieve wider uptake and contribute to energy system decarbonisation, the report says the industry must reduce V2G hardware cost significantly, develop viable commercial models to depreciate the assets over 10 years, and alleviate consumer concerns about range and battery impacts.

Chris Wright, chief technology officer at Moixa, said: “By 2030 there will be millions of electric vehicles on our roads. This report shows how they they can play a vital role in the UK’s energy system as batteries on wheels, helping to manage supply and demand and saving hundreds of millions of pounds. It also shows how savings can be shared fairly with drivers, lowering the cost of owning EVs and supporting growth of the sector.”

Today also saw EDF Energy announce a partnership with NEOT Capital to accelerate the delivery of key infrastructure for EVs in the UK. It will see EDF become NEOT’s preferred partner to provide EV charging infrastructure engineering, procurement, and construction and management services. In turn, NEOT Capital will act as EDF Energy’s preferred provider for financing EVs, particularly electric buses and batteries, and related infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Iberdrola has led a $15 million (£11.8 million) investment round into EV charging company, Wallbox.

The funding will give Wallbox firepower for further expansion globally and consolidate its position in Europe.

Diego Díaz Pilas, head of new ventures & technology prospects at Iberdrola, said: “Wallbox has quickly established itself in the home charging market for electric vehicles in Europe, and is well positioned to replicate this success in further markets around the world. The products are compact, secure and reliable. Our customers are also impressed with the design and ease of use.

“As Iberdrola continues to invest in customer solutions for electric vehicles, as well as the smart grids and green energy needed to support them, we envisage a range of new partnerships being created in the coming years.”

Enric Asunción, chief executive of Wallbox, said: “This capital increase allows us to continue the development of our ambitious product roadmap, accelerate the company’s growth and become the leading global brand in charging solutions for electric vehicles and energy.”

Iberdrola has made the investment in Wallbox through its Perseo start-up programme, which supports emerging companies developing key technologies in the energy sector.

Beatrice Bigois, managing director, Customers at EDF Energy, said: “To accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, we need to find innovative ways to finance the required investments. This strategic partnership with NEoT Capital will help us make electric mobility a reality for our customers.”