An interesting conversation about the ever growing amount of rooftop solar and the journey of EVs.
Dr Björn Sturmberg, who is the research leader of ANU’s Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program says vehicle-to-grid offers multifaceted solutions to Australia’s energy woes including reduced prices and increased grid resilience. Sturmberg thinks EV owners can get an even better deal than free charging when it comes to V2G.
“The opportunities for V2G to generate revenue in Australia are significant, due in no small part to the volatility of an electricity market with concentrated market power and aging fossil fuel generators as illustrated earlier this week in Victoria.” said Sturmberg.
On Wednesday after storms in Victoria cut transmission lines leaving 500,000 households without power, wholesale electricity prices spiked as high as $16,600/MWh.
Sturmberg thinks that V2G has the potential to provide a lot more financial benefit than free charging to EV owners.
“Our research shows that the potential income from V2G will in many cases far exceed the cost of EV charging, meaning drivers ought to receive more than just free charging.”
He also believes EV owners should be incentivised to keep their vehicles connected as much as possible.
“For the grid – and thereby for the reliability and affordability of all Australian’s electricity supply – the most important aspect of EV usage is that EVs are plugged in to chargers (or a regular power outlet) as often as possible,” he says.
“This provides the greatest flexibility in their charging, to reduce the cost of electricity generation as well as, critically, the costs of network maintenance and emissions. This requires a shift in drivers’ behaviours, to habitually plug in their EVs whenever parked.”
Sturmberg says he wants to see innovation and trials of tariffs that provide incentives for every minute that EVs are plugged in and available for managed (‘smart’) charging and says this has the potential to be very effective even before including V2G.
On the impacts of V2G to EV battery life Stumberg thinks provided systems are well managed, there’s no need for concerns around battery degradation.
“The impact of V2G (and driving) on batteries is primarily determined by the state of charge of the battery and the rate at which power is injected or drawn out of the battery,” says Sturmberg.
“Well managed V2G, that keeps the state of charge of vehicles within batteries’ comfort zone (generally 30-80%), will have a very modest impact – and in some studies has been shown to improve battery health compared to unmanaged charging by reducing the amount of time that batteries are at a very high state of charge.”
Story in SBS about how an Australian physicist found a way to shave 10% off his neighbours’ power bills.
Arkadiy Matsekh changed the billing system of the embedded network of his housing complex. As a result, his neighbours are saving up to 10 per cent on their power bills.
Dr Sturmberg believes that the greatest achievement of this particular body corporate is that the community was able to reach an agreement and embrace change.
“Dr Matsekh seems to have done a lot of work by actually talking to his neighbours and getting their support,” he says.
“The bigger impact of what he has done is not kilowatt-hours of solar that he has produced. But the social expectations that he is setting in his neighbourhood.
The message to the broader society says that ‘everyone deserves access to cheap and clean power’.
“We see our (NRMA) partnership with the ANU Solar Racing Team and the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge as a great opportunity to support young people who are the leaders and policymakers of tomorrow. This is just one of many steps we’re taking to help Australian motorists in their transition towards an electric future.” NRMA CEO, Carly Irving-Dolan
ANU Project Lead Isaac Martin said the Solar Racing team had spent the last six years working to develop sustainable innovation within the ACT and were looking forward to working with the NRMA for the BWSC.
“Our team is so lucky to be made up of such diverse individuals from different backgrounds and experiences, and we’re excited to continue to push the boundaries of sustainable technology together,” Mr Martin said.
It’s wonderful to have The NRMA continue to support #electricvehicles and get behind Australia’s solar race (from Darwin to Adelaide) and the ANU Solar Racing team! The team’s making their final preparation for next week’s departure and I can’t wait to join them for the 3022km trip down the Stuart!
Full story in the Canberra Weekly
While the pivotal role of electrification in decarbonisation has been understood for decades, it has rarely been described as vividly or enthusiastically as by Saul Griffith in The Wires That Bind. Griffith recognises that electrification is a story, at its heart, not about decarbonisation but about cleaning the air in our kitchens and streets, improving the liveability of our homes and communities, and “keeping wealth in our households and communities” – and nation. In short, electrification is a story about a better future.
While attuned to this human story of electrification, Griffith is, at heart, an engineer so it’s no surprise that The Wires That Bind is packed full of figures. Emissions are carved up, the grid is mapped and fossil machines are counted. This achieves Griffith’s goal of “clarity about the job in front of us” and complements his persuasive case for electrifying everything. The question that remains is: how can the transition best be accelerated and steered towards just and enduring outcomes?Continue reading
New article in The Conversation today. Excerpt below.
The idea is for these batteries to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills while benefiting all energy users nearby, rather than only those with access to rooftop solar. These are great ambitions – small wonder they’ve proven a hit.
But the success of these batteries is far from certain.
Over the last four years, our research has found two areas we have to fix to maximise the chances these batteries actually do what we want them to do.
First, we need greater clarity on how we decide whether community batteries are a good investment.
Second, we need better measurement and evaluation of what these batteries actually contribute to the grid and to energy users.
In a new discussion paper, this article’s lead author argues the primary purpose of community batteries ought to be addressing constraint in the local electricity grid. This reiterates a consistent finding from our research.
While this sounds reasonable, community batteries aren’t the only option to fix local grid issues. That means we should only turn to them where they are clearly better than the alternatives, such as upgrading transformers.
And what about sharing the benefits of solar with people who can’t afford an array or who have nowhere to put one? While this vision is in line with public sentiment, the complexity of the privatised energy system makes it very difficult to redistribute financial benefits.
Community batteries are also no panacea for the desire of people to see and be included in national planning for the decarbonisation transition. An inclusive planning process can address uncertainties in how the transition will affect us and our communities and ensure it upholds public values.
Time will tell if the newly announced Net Zero Authority will deliver this.
Home owners may welcome cheap loans for double-glazing or battery-ready solar but making negative gearing conditional on upgrades has been suggested as more effective for landlords.
Research shows up front costs are not the largest barrier to rental property investments in solar, and it may be the same for energy upgrades, energy expert Bjorn Sturmberg has warned.
Property investors do not believe spending money on new energy sources and appliances will get them higher rents – that’s the biggest barrier, Dr Sturmberg said on Wednesday.Continue reading
Listen here, https://shirtloadsofscience.libsyn.com/sos-336-car-energy-bs-mix or where ever you get your podcasts.
New article in The Canberra Times discussing how “the ANU solar racing team is pushing the boundaries of sustainable technology with their 3rd-generation solar car”.
This week marked the completion of the REVS project – the largest demonstration of vehilce-to-grid technology in Australia and foundational research on the integration of electric vehicles into the grid and people’s lives.
Some of the media stories from the wrap up event below: