Electric Vehicles | Smart Energy International https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/ News & insights for smart metering, smart energy & grid professionals in the electricity, water & gas industries. Tue, 22 Aug 2023 14:53:54 +0000 en-ZA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3 https://www.smart-energy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Electric Vehicles | Smart Energy International https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/ 32 32 Self-consumption V2G system launched for Chinese national park https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/self-consumption-v2g-system-launched-for-chinese-national-park/ Tue, 22 Aug 2023 14:53:52 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=144769 Shanghai-based automotive company NIO has announced the completion of what they are calling the world’s first V2G photovoltaic self-consumption system in the Qilian Mountain National Park.

The V2G self-consumption station is operational within Qilian Mountain National Park’s long-term national research base, providing continuous support for ecological patrols and clean, low-carbon energy utilisation within the park.

According to NIO in a press release, the system marks the first global photovoltaic self-consumption system with V2G (vehicle to grid), composed of photovoltaic power stations, bidirectional V2G charging piles and all-electric vehicles.

V2G systems allow EVs to serve as distributed mobile energy units, charging during low-demand periods and supplying power during peak times.

Have you read:
Is V2X energy transition’s missing piece of the puzzle?
India to get its first V2G system

The technology, through the deployment of source-network-storage-load, states NIO, achieves local self-production and self-marketing of green energy and minimises the impact on the external environment.

Image courtesy NIO.

V2G bidirectional charging piles offer EV charging services; with the reverse discharge function, surplus vehicle-stored energy is supplied back to the grid for nighttime or emergency use within the park.

Photovoltaic power energises the system, with an annual average output of about 690,000kWh, fully covering the EV energy consumption within the park.

Surplus energy can cater to over 50% of other power needs, resulting in an estimated annual carbon reduction of around 55 tonnes.

Clean Parks initiative

NIO and WWF previously collaborated together to support the ecological construction of Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, as well as Giant Panda National Park, and became strategic partners of the Clean Parks ecological co-conservation plan in April 2022.

The V2G announcement marks the commencement of the third phase of the Clean Parks and WWF ecological co-conservation programme.

The self-consumption facilities were established by Clean Parks in collaboration with NIO, Astronergy and One Earth Nature Foundation in Qilian Mountain National Park, China, on the eve of the Second National Park Forum, under the coordination of the Qinghai Forestry and Grassland Bureau and the WWF.

NREL to test energy management system at clean tech laboratory https://www.smart-energy.com/digitalisation/nrel-to-test-energy-management-system-at-clean-tech-laboratory/ Tue, 22 Aug 2023 09:03:02 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=144742 A Strata Grid Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) will be implemented at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in the hopes of “developing a powerful toolbox” for existing and future use cases.

US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) chose DERMS provider Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) to implement their Strata Grid DERMS at the facility.

ESIF is an energy systems integration laboratory facility focused on developing and deploying clean energy technologies and resilient distribution systems.

According to the ESIF’s research project manager, Sarah Williams, “DERMS-related research is core to the integrated, multi-disciplinary work happening at ESIF.

“We have confidence we are developing a powerful toolbox with SGS to address both existing and future use cases.”

DERMS are known for enabling enhanced control and visibility over assets for utilities and electric cooperatives, allowing operators to manage incoming renewable energy resources and grid-edge devices for improved performance of the electrical system.

According to SGS in a press release announcing their selection, example use cases of the Strata Grid DERMS include the autonomous operation and coordination of modern grid devices.

Within the system distributed energy resources (DERs) are leveraged for improved grid planning and operation, as well as demand-side management and customer engagement through bidirectional communication with utilities and energy market operations.

Have you read:
PG&E taps Schneider and Microsoft for new DERMS
Energy Queensland deploys smart DERMS for load control

According to SGS, the system is the “only DERMS software to combine the grid and market optimisation with real-time control”.

According to the ESIF, when it comes to their integrated energy capabilities, the lab includes tools and approaches to enable better integration with the electric grid and other energy infrastructure, diversification of integrated energy streams for resilience, cybersecurity risk management and customer participation in smart load management and energy generation.

The ESIF also states it has “hundreds of commercially available” DERs, including inverters, electric vehicles, batteries, home energy systems, solar panels, fuel cells and more, which can be integrated ‘in-the-loop’ with simulations for realistic experimentation.

According to SGS’ statement, NREL sought a DERMS capable of replicating utility control and the monitoring of distributed devices from small residential systems to the grid substation level.

“SGS is excited to partner with NREL on their research in the DERMS realm. With NREL’s research leadership and SGS’ industry-leading DERMS solutions, we expect to see very interesting and exciting learnings from this partnership,” said Jon Grooters, director of utility solutions at SGS.

Wireless power transfer standards for EVs in the making https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/wireless-power-transfer-standards-for-evs-in-the-making/ Tue, 22 Aug 2023 08:10:42 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=144709 The electric vehicle (EV) charging system standards association CharIN has formed a new wireless power transfer task force.

The task force, which is planned to kick off its activities in early September, is aimed to drive the adoption and standardisation of wireless charging solutions for EVs globally.

Established in cooperation with association members Siemens AG, the wireless charging technology company WiTricity Corporation and German charging solution provider MAHLE chargeBIG, the taskforce is intended to seek to close existing gaps to ensure the successful integration and utilisation of wireless power transfer technology in the evolving electric mobility landscape.

The taskforce will actively work towards harmonising standards in wireless power transfer technology for charging EVs.

Have you read?
Volvo launches 3-year EV wireless charging pilot in Sweden
Ending the ICE age to put EVs in the fast lane

Defining the respective applicability of wireless charging will play a crucial role in its integration into diverse EV platforms.

The taskforce also will seek to define rigorous test procedures and certification guidelines for interoperability, in order to ensure that wireless charging solutions are reliable, efficient and compatible across different platforms.

Additionally, the taskforce will focus on clearing the co-existence of relevant technologies for wireless power transfer to foster a cohesive ecosystem for the future of EV charging.

Members of the taskforce with expertise in wireless charging technology are now being sought from both CharIN members and non-members.

Wireless charging developments

Wireless charging is becoming increasingly popular for mobile and other devices, with EVs an obvious opportunity due to the convenience it offers.

Both static and dynamic options are available, enabling charging when parked in a garage or driving on highways respectively, with the former aimed primarily at homeowners and charging station operators and the latter initially at least for trucks and other high-use vehicles such as buses and taxis.

Its use so far is limited, however, but that is set to change with wireless charging now delivering efficiencies and charging times that match or even better those of traditional plug-in chargers, according to developers such as WiTricity.

As an example of recent development, WiTricity has entered into a partnership to deliver its technology in Europe with ABT e-Line, which initially will upgrade the VW ID.4 to support wireless charging and subsequently other VW, Audi and Porsche models thereafter.

In another example, another CharIN member, the Israeli company Electreon is to equip a section of the French A10 motorway southwest of Paris with dynamic wireless charging and a stationary wireless charging station initially for fleet use.

A third CharIN member InductEV recently opened a high power wireless charging R&D centre at its King of Prussia, Pennsylvania headquarters.

In the US there also is a move to introduce a grant programme for wireless EV charging with a proposal for $250 million to be made available for its introduction on roads and bus routes, in parking areas and at airports among other locations.

US demand for electrification metals set to soar one year into IRA https://www.smart-energy.com/policy-regulation/us-demand-for-electrification-metals-set-to-soar-one-year-into-ira/ Sat, 19 Aug 2023 11:47:00 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=144594 According to a new study from S&P Global, one year after the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), US energy transition demand for critical minerals needed for clean tech such as EVs, charging infrastructure, solar PV, wind and batteries, is expected to significantly increase.

The forecast demand is a new challenge surfacing for the US, which now needs to face exponentially increasing demand for critical minerals.

This is according to the New York-based financial information and analytics company’s study, Inflation Reduction Act: Impact on North America metals and minerals report, which finds that the historic policy is accelerating demand for critical minerals and copper that are vital to energy transition technologies.

They add that ensuring enough qualifying supply to meet that demand faces ‘considerable challenges’.

Accelerated demand

Namely, US energy transition demand from clean tech such as EVs, charging infrastructure, solar PV, wind and batteries, will continue to accelerate and be materially higher for lithium (+15%), cobalt (+14%) and nickel (+13%) by 2035 than was projected before the IRA was enacted in August 2022.

According to the study, demand for copper will be 12% higher by 2035 than pre-IRA projections. Copper is not currently listed as a critical mineral in the United States and does not qualify for IRA tax credits. However, its role as the “metal of electrification” makes it vital to the energy transition and demand for it will rise as it is used alongside critical minerals in energy transition applications.

Adding the post-IRA demand increases on top of demand growth that was already expected prior to the IRA becoming law means that total combined energy transition-related demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt will be 23 times higher in 2035 than it was in 2021. Total demand for copper will be twice as high, the study finds.

Have you read:
Critical minerals investments surged by 30% finds IEA
IRENA warns monopoly of critical materials market a risk to energy transition

While post-IRA demand is expected to be materially higher, securing enough supply under the law’s sourcing requirements faces considerable challenges, the study says. To qualify for IRA tax credits, processing and/or extraction of critical minerals used must be in the US and/ or in a country with which the US has a free trade agreement (FTA); and that sourcing cannot involve a “foreign entity of concern.”

Commenting on the study was Daniel Yergin, S&P Global’s vice chairman: “This new comprehensive analysis shows that the Inflation Reduction Act is indeed transformative on the demand side.

“However, challenges remain in securing supply of critical minerals needed to meet growing demand and achieve its goal of accelerating the energy transition.”

Material breakdown

Of the four materials analysed in the study, only lithium is likely to be sufficiently supplied to the United States under the IRA’s domestic content requirements, given already-planned capacity additions in the United States and other FTA countries such as Chile, Canada and Australia, the study finds.

Cobalt and nickel were both found to be unlikely to be sourced at levels high enough to meet demand.

While there is enough cobalt produced in FTA countries to meet the IRA domestic sourcing requirement, the United States does not currently source most of its cobalt from those countries. Doing so would require a challenging reorientation of trading patterns across several countries given intense international competition for resources, the study says.

Nickel was found to be the most challenged in terms of supply. There does not appear to be enough nickel supply in FTA countries to meet demand under the IRA requirements—even if all primary nickel production in FTA countries was exported to the US.

While copper is not subject to sourcing requirements under the IRA, ensuring access to enough supply to meet US demand post-IRA is also at risk, the study says. The United States will become more reliant on imports as growing demand for energy transition-related end markets outpace domestic supply.

Also of interest:
US and EU to coordinate critical mineral strategy
What’s in the Net Zero Industry and Critical Raw Materials Acts?

For example, the United States relies on one country, Chile, for 60% of refined copper imports. However, for Chile the United States accounts for only 20% of its refined copper exports. The United States could struggle to secure additional supplies from Chile if other markets that represent a larger share of Chilean exports also compete for that supply.

The increasing reliance of the United States on imports as energy transition demand grows places new emphasis and urgency on challenges such as long lead times and permitting complexities that prolong development of domestic resources, the study says. S&P Global data on 127 mines across the world that began production between 2002 and 2023 shows that a major new resource discovery today would not become a productive mine until 2040 or later.

Copper represents a particular opportunity in the United States, which country possesses more than 70 million tons of an untapped copper endowment, equivalent to more than 20 years of US copper demand, even at the level of peak energy transition-related demand in 2035, the study says.

“Timely and transparent permitting is a fundamental operational challenge to supplying metals for the energy transition, particularly in developed markets such as the United States that have high levels of transparency and both political and civil society scrutiny of policy,” said Mohsen Bonakdarpour, executive director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Expediting permitting reform while meeting environmental and community concerns has become a central topic in boosting mineral supply for the energy transition.”

Power sector measures key for smart charging in emerging economies states IEA https://www.smart-energy.com/policy-regulation/power-sector-measures-key-for-smart-charging-in-emerging-economies-states-iea/ Thu, 17 Aug 2023 15:02:55 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=144356 Although electric vehicles (EVs) are proliferating globally, power sector measures that can optimally enable smart charging are not yet fully present in emerging markets and developing economies, states the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This is according to the IEA’s Facilitating Decarbonisation in Emerging Economies Through Smart Charging report, which looks at how decarbonisation can be facilitated through smart charging.

According to the report, although there are several requirements for smart charging to take place, the power sector has a unique role that can’t be overlooked, namely in establishing the foundations of how EVs can be used as a resource.

The potential of smart charging on the power system lies largely in its potency as a flexible asset, states the report, enabling widespread renewable penetration and consumption management.

EV proliferation

According to the report, while most of the uptake of EVs is found in the US, Europe and China, EVs are also starting to penetrate markets in emerging economies.

Electric two- and three-wheelers are more common in Asia, with sales of electric three-wheelers constituting 46% of total three-wheeler sales in the fiscal year of 2022. Meanwhile, electric buses are gaining ground in Latin America, where most have reached cost parity with diesel buses.

These trends are likely to continue as these economies set more adoption targets for the end of the decade.

However, to accommodate the increasing uptake, the necessary charging infrastructure will be needed to coordinate the increasing electric load coming onto the grid.

Have you read:
Smart grids and digitalisation – more effort needed says IEA
‘Network planning needs to be ahead of the curve’ – IEA

While the energy required by EVs is low compared with typical daily electricity consumption, the IEA states how ensuring enough grid capacity will be the more important parameter given the high-power requirements that the charging process can take.

Charging of two- and three-wheelers may not lead to significant increases in peak load until a high level of penetration, whereas charging of buses will raise peak load and often require dedicated transformers.

The role of smart charging

This, states the IEA, is where smart charging needs to be more widely adopted, as it provides an avenue of integrating the EV into the power system where the charging process can be adjusted to be in line with power system objectives.

Said objectives could be voltage regulation and reduction of local peak in the distribution grid, or frequency regulation and energy arbitrage in the bulk energy system.

Smart charging of EV fleets can provide a good source of power system flexibility, increasing the uptake of renewables while maintaining power system stability.

However, for smart charging to be coordinated optimally and support the system, it needs to be able to adjust in response to system signals.

States the report: “The faster the EVs can react, the more services it can provide. Such high levels of coordination can happen only through digitalisation.

“With the help of telecommunications and connectivity, smart charging service providers can exist to help serve as intermediaries to balance the needs of the EV users, charge point operators and power systems.”

Power system measures missing

According to the report, the main signals which can serve as rewards or sources of value for EV users and smart charging service providers are:

• Differentiated tariffs: Tariffs which vary rates based on time of day to incentivise the behaviour of EV users about when to charge their cars

• Procurement of local flexibility: Distribution grid operators enter into contracts with aggregators or charging service providers to manipulate the charging process to achieve local needs.

• Wholesale energy market access: Whereby vehicles can participate in changing the supply-demand curve to lower peak generation and increase renewables consumption.

• Ancillary services market access: Allowing aggregated EVs to respond to system services such as frequency response.

In advanced economies such as California, South Korea, the Netherlands and the UK, each of these power system measures is widespread or in progress, with the exception of procurement of local flexibility in South Korea.

However, for the studied emerging economies, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Maharashtra, Morocco, South Africa, Tamil Nadu, Thailand, Tunisia, Uttar Pradesh and Vietnam, the opposite is true.

Differentiated tariffs were found to be the most common measure, although not absent in Colombia and Morocco.

The only other measure found was that of ancillary services in South Africa and in progress in Chile.

Moving forward

According to the IEA’s findings, depending on the degree of EV integration desired by the economy in question, different technological and regulatory frameworks will need to be deployed for the sector to facilitate a fair and efficient smart charging process.

Specifically, they state, the following recommendations are made to establish a smart charging ecosystem:

  • Establish a framework for demand response in the power system, which could be implicit via tariff variation or explicit through direct bidding of demand in wholesale and balancing markets.
  • Ensure standardisation and interoperability; said standards could be set by tying them to charging infrastructure incentives, as a de facto standard based on public tenders, or legislated directly as a regulation
  • Establish minimum requirements for smart communication and control, thereby ensure future EV uptake will instill the ability to participate in smart charging
  • Ensure matching with clean electricity, whereby signals to charge could come either from the electricity market through wholesale prices, or from end-consumer electricity prices that reflect the best time to consume clean electricity
  • Reform the role of distribution operators from passive owners and providers of network capacity into active managers of an interconnected system that can help activate EVs’ full potential
Technology Trending: Kaluza in Australasia, MSc in energy transition, hydrogen train questions https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/new-technology/technology-trending-kaluza-in-australasia-msc-in-energy-transition-hydrogen-train-questions/ Mon, 14 Aug 2023 06:29:19 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=143543 Kaluza heads ‘down under’ with a new team, training for the energy transition in Scotland and whether hydrogen trains are before their time are on this week’s technology radar.

Kaluza heads ‘down under’

UK headquartered energy software company Kaluza is planning to expand its activities in Australia and New Zealand with an office in Melbourne led up by former London-based client solutions director, Conor Maher-McWilliams.

Over the next 12 months, Kaluza intends to build a local team of experts to support activity in the region.

The team will work closely with Kaluza customer AGL Energy, one of Australia’s largest energy retailers and generators, on the ‘OVO Energy Australia’ joint venture to accelerate the adoption of clean energy solutions across the country and develop new EV and solar propositions for AGL’s customers.

Have you read?
Energy suppliers unsure of digital skills needed for net zero – survey
Energy Transitions Podcast: How to build a viable green hydrogen economy

Kaluza is also expanding its managed charging programme to New Zealand with Meridian Energy. Through this new service, Kaluza will manage the charging of Meridian Energy’s customers’ EVs in response to their needs as well as market signals and pricing data.

Scott Neuman, CEO of Kaluza, described the development as “an important milestone” for the company’s global expansion, which so far has extended to Europe, North America and Japan.

Training for the energy transition

Britain’s Heriot-Watt University, known for its technical training, is launching a new Master of Science degree programme to provide advanced training in the energy transition.

The programme, run from the University’s Orkney campus, is taught both in person and online, with a focus on the technologies, systems, processes and economics, alongside the design of transition projects to move away from fossil fuels and accelerate the integration of renewable energy.

The MSc in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition, to give its full title, has been developed by the mechanical and energy systems engineer Susan Krumdieck and is built around the rapidly growing discipline of ‘transition engineering’, an interdisciplinary approach to change for unsustainable systems across power, transport, industry, real estate and other sectors, according to a statement.

Krumdieck, who hails originally from New Zealand, is Chair of Energy Transition Engineering at Heriot-Watt and her research group has led the development of ‘transition engineering’ as a discipline since the early 2000s.

“If the world is to decarbonise and reach net zero emissions by 2050, whole systems will have to be redesigned and redeveloped, including energy infrastructure, technology, regulation and markets,” she commented.

“A new generation of transition engineering specialists is needed to drive this change – and our MSc ReSET is firmly focused on helping students and professionals develop these vital skills – so they can help to reset global energy systems.”

The MSc programme has four themes: Transition Engineering, Economics and Commercialisation, Renewable Energy Technology and Energy Systems.

Hydrogen trains – before their time?

Germany has been a pioneer with hydrogen-powered trains over the past five years and the rail operator Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG) was the first, a year ago, to launch a network of such trains using Alstom’s Coradia iLint rolling stock.

But now the company has decided that its future – at least for the next generation – is with battery-powered trains, citing their cheaper operating costs.

LNVG is now planning to obtain 102 new units with battery-powered technology, which will progressively replace its diesel rolling stock from 2029 onwards until the last diesel is withdrawn in 2037.

Hydrogen has been billed as the option for emission-free trains on lines that have not been electrified. However, an advantage of the battery-powered trains is that they can run on both electrified lines, drawing on the power and recharging batteries via the pantograph, and non-electrified lines using the battery power with charging from purpose-built charging islands.

LNVG has not specified what the cost differences are or where they arise. But like hydrogen for road transport, undoubtedly the ‘chicken and egg’ of infrastructure availability vs demand is likely to be a factor.

With hydrogen-powered trains under test in other locations such as Canada, their potential is very much a space to watch.

US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation creates new EV working group https://www.smart-energy.com/regional-news/north-america/us-joint-office-of-energy-and-transportation-creates-new-ev-working-group/ Sat, 12 Aug 2023 13:17:03 +0000 https://www.power-grid.com/?p=104406 The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation in the US has announced the members of the Electric Vehicle Working Group (EVWG), a collection of EV industry experts and leaders who intend to guide the widespread adoption of EVs across the country and solidify America’s position as a global leader of clean energy jobs and manufacturing.

The EVWG, which will make recommendations directly to the secretaries of Energy and Transportation, includes experts with experience and knowledge across the entire EV ecosystem, including manufacturers of vehicles, components and batteries; public utility representatives; local and regional elected officials; state energy planners; and labor officials representing transportation industry workers.

The committee also includes leadership from the US departments of Energy and Transportation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the US General Services Administration and the US Postal Service.

“The adoption of electric vehicles continues to evolve at a lightning pace,” said Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office. “The thought leaders we’ve assembled for the EVWG understand the unique challenges and opportunities of this evolution and will align efforts across government and industry to ensure we work together to build an electrified transportation future that benefits all Americans.”

Also of interest:
Pioneering green loan to accelerate UK-wide EV charging network
19 Sep: Digitising the future: How connected construction accelerates EV charging deployment

Areas of focus for the group will include facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles among low- and moderate-income individuals and underserved communities; assessing the costs of vehicle and EV battery manufacturing and shortages of raw materials for batteries; identifying charging infrastructure, grid capacity and EV cybersecurity needs; addressing grid capacity and integration; and identifying charging infrastructure regulatory issues.

Consumer interest in EVs is accelerating. New plug-in EV sales have reached nearly 10% of the US light-duty market as of early 2023, with more than 3.4 million vehicles sold since 2010. Nearly 100 different EV models are already available in the US market – including sedans, SUVs, trucks, vans and sports cars – with many more expected in coming years.

The Joint Office was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to facilitate collaboration between the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Transportation in their efforts to deploy a national network of electric vehicle chargers, zero-emission fueling infrastructure and zero-emission transit and school buses.

Originally published by Sean Wolfe on Power Grid.

19 Sep: Digitising the future: How connected construction accelerates EV charging deployment https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/digitising-the-future-how-connected-construction-accelerates-ev-charging-deployment/ Mon, 07 Aug 2023 10:35:47 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=143100 Broadcast: Tuesday, 19 September 2023

08h00 New York | 12h00 GMT | 13h00 London | 14h00 Amsterdam | 14h00 Johannesburg | 16h00 Dubai | 17h30 New Delhi | 20h00 Singapore

60-minute session

With the rapid spike in electric vehicles (EVs) globally, the need for efficient and reliable charging infrastructure is becoming increasingly urgent.

According to the European EV Charging Infrastructure Masterplan, 6.8 million chargers must be in place by 2030. As a result, utilities are experiencing immense pressure to make essential upgrades to their transmission infrastructure and at the same time connect an ever-growing list of charging assets to the grid.

With the International Energy Agency reporting the average time to build clean energy infrastructure at over a decade, what can developers, EPCs and utilities do to collectively speed up the process across planning, design and construction to get assets up and running faster?

Join this live discussion to learn more about how connected construction solutions accelerate EV charging deployments.

EV charging experts and technologists will discuss how high-volume deployments can leverage the cloud to control costs and speed up deployments that span hundreds or thousands of distributed locations.

In this webinar, you will learn best practices to:

  • Template work so you can complete projects more than 30% faster
  • Centralise data in the cloud across all internal, field and vendor teams
  • Introduce better communication across groups using real-time project and site data
  • Automate construction approvals, reporting, and forecasting


Sebastian Hymas, PMO Project Manager | Evyve Charging Network

Lynne Toogood, Chief Operating Officer | Connected Kerb

Technology Trending: Cheaper solar PV, fuel cell chemistry, fuel cell power on the Moon https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/new-technology/technology-trending-cheaper-solar-pv-fuel-cell-chemistry-fuel-cell-power-on-the-moon/ Mon, 07 Aug 2023 07:21:34 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=143194 Acoustic spalling a possible key to cheaper solar PV, quantum computing to advance fuel cells for e-mobility and Toyota’s regenerative fuel cell technology for exploration on the Moon are on the week’s technology radar.

Acoustic spalling – key to cheaper solar PV?

III-V solar cells grown out of periodic table groups III and V alloys such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) are the most efficient but also costly, which has limited their use to applications such as powering satellites in space.

But that may be about to change, according to US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers, who say that the application of sound waves in a new process called ‘acoustic spalling’ holds the potential for significantly reducing their manufacturing costs.

The key is the ability to repeatedly reuse the substrate upon which the cells are grown. Whereas existing technology uses a sacrificial etch layer, which allows a cell to be lifted off a GaAs substrate so that the substrate can be used again, the process is time consuming and leaves behind a residue that requires an expensive polishing step.

Have you read?
US NREL investigates quantum computing in grid operations
Watch this space: solar power boldly goes into new niche

In contrast, spalling, which uses sound waves to control the fracture, takes seconds, with the fracture within the substrate nearly parallel to its surface and allowing the cell to be easily removed, revealing a new, contaminant-free surface from within the substrate that does not require polishing.

“This is super promising for the substrate reuse,” said Kevin Schulte, a scientist in NREL’s High-Efficiency Crystalline PV group and lead author of the study.

“This alone will not make III-V solar cells cost-effective, but as part of this portfolio of research, we’re trying address cost from multiple different angles.”

The researchers were able to make a cell on a previously spalled substrate with an NREL-certified efficiency of 26.9% – similar to that from a new substrate.

However, additional research is needed to determine how many times the substrate can be reused after being subjected to acoustic spalling.

Quantum computing to advance fuel cells for e-mobility

Fuel cells are an emerging option for future mobility, with their competitiveness dependent on improving performance and reducing costs.

This in turn depends on a deeper understanding of the chemical processes involved but modelling is complex and challenging. Moreover, with the quantum properties of the chemical mechanisms involved, they are a good candidate for quantum computers – which is why the BMW Group and Airbus have teamed up with quantum technology company Quantinuum.

The three companies have now developed a hybrid quantum-classical workflow to speed up such research using quantum computers and have reported successfully modelling the oxygen reduction reaction, which converts hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity in a fuel cell. It is relatively slow and requires a large amount of platinum catalyst, so there is great interest and value in better understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in the reaction.

Dr Peter Lehnert, vice-president, Research Technologies at BMW Group, says that circularity and sustainable mobility are putting us on the quest for new materials to create more efficient products and shape the future user experience.

“Being able to simulate material properties to relevant chemical accuracy with the benefits from the accelerating quantum computing hardware is giving us just the right tools for more speed in innovation for this decisive domain.”

The companies intend to investigate various industrial challenges and believe the approach could have wide ranging benefits, such as for metal-air batteries among others.

Toyota adapts fuel cell vehicle tech for the Moon

Toyota is working on a project to provide its regenerative fuel cell technology, evolved from that developed for its road vehicles, to power a pressurised lunar rover, nicknamed the ‘Lunar cruiser’.

A regenerative fuel cell is a system that provides both power and storage. During the day, powered by solar PV, the system would produce hydrogen and oxygen and then at night, this would be converted to provide power and water.

The system is considered ideal for lunar applications, drawing on local water ice resources but also enabling operations to continue during the long, 14-day lunar night.

Toyota is partnering on the initiative with Mitsubishi, which is working on the Lupex (lunar polar exploration) concept for an earlier phase rover to investigate inter alia the availability of usable water resources on the Moon.

Both initiatives are being undertaken for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which is contributing to NASA’s Artemis mission and is expected to supply the Lunar Cruiser for a 2029 launch date.

The Lunar Cruiser is being developed to normally carry a crew of two – four in a contingency or unmanned – and to have a life span of 10 years and a travel distance of 10,000km, with an off-road driving performance aimed to meet the varied environments on the Moon, including regolith and rocks and craters with their varying slopes.

Smart Energy Finances: IMServ’s strategic smart metering acquisition to tap MHHS https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/business/smart-energy-finances-imserv-strategic-smart-metering-acquisition-to-tap-mhhs/ Fri, 04 Aug 2023 08:49:15 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=143127 This week’s Smart Energy Finances looks at the acquisition of Power Data Associates in the UK by IMServ Europe, which they state is a move to enhance their proposition in energy data collection, AMI and smart metering in expectation of the upcoming market-wide half-hourly settlement (MHHS) rules.

Also on the radar are robust earnings from an Indian company for their shunt resistors, which they claim to be the “backbone of smart metering technology and energy management systems” as well as a raised Series B funding round for Electric Vehicle (EV) services provider ev.energy, which they will use for global expansion and new EV data-driven services.

Acquisition to bolster smart metering expertise

IMServ Europe, a UK-based energy data collection and metering specialist, has acquired Power Data Associates, a specialist meter administrator providing unmetered services to electricity, gas and water utilities and non-domestic energy customers.

IMServ is calling the acquisition an augmentation of their existing proposition in energy data collection, advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) and smart metering.

According to the company, unmetered supplies metering systems will be required to upgrade to half-hourly settlement as part of a forthcoming market-wide half-hourly settlement (MHHS) rules.

IMServ has already identified MHHS as a key strategic priority and aims to ease the transition for every sector of the market.\

The acquisition of Power Data Associates is hoped to enable this goal and allow customers with both metered and unmetered requirements to meet their needs ‘under one roof.’

IMServ will be the only company to offer the full range of MHHS services across the metered and unmetered data services segment.

Power Data Associates will continue to operate as a standalone company, with all current employees and senior leadership retained.

Power Data Associates specialises in providing services to help customers manage their unmetered energy usage. Key unmetered applications include street lighting, telecommunications infrastructure and, increasingly, electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

IMServ on the other hand is one of the UK’s leading meter operators and data collectors, servicing over 25% of the UK’s electricity consumption through the monitoring of 80 billion units of energy data.

Also from Smart Energy Finances:
AMI provider acquires a narrowband communications solution
Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy

Robust earnings from smart meter shunt resistors

Indian manufacturer of bimetal/trimetal strips and shunt resistors Shivalik Bimetal Controls has announced robust financial performance for Q1 FY24.

The company reported operational revenue rise to Rs113.07 Crore ($13.7 million) signalling 15.74% YoY growth. According to CFO Rajeev Ranjan, this is “our highest quarterly number in history.”

The company is calling the financial growth reflective of the Indian and global shift towards electrification.

The Indian government’s RDSS scheme has been opening up significant revenue streams for smart metering projects in the aims of reducing aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses.

Stated the company’s chairman, S.S. Sandhu, “Our shunt resistors are part of the backbone of smart metering technology and energy management systems, providing the precision and reliability required for efficient energy usage.

“As India accelerates its smart meter deployment to achieve electrical energy security, we are proud to be a key player in providing critical components, contributing to the country’s electrification renaissance.”

Shivalik Bimetal Controls was founded in 1984 and is headquartered out of New Delhi. It manufactures and sells thermostatic bimetal/trimetal strips for switching components used in electrical, electronics, automotive, agricultural, medical, defence and industrial applications.

The rising demand for switchgear, battery management and smart metering systems, they state, conveys solid long-term prospects for their product lines.

Exclusive from the floors of EUSEW:
Creating data space with smart meter hubs
For Enedis collective self-consumption is key to energy sharing 

ev.energy enters grid services with successful financing

ev.energy, an EV charging software platform, has received a $33 million Series B raise, bringing total funded capital to $46M.

ev.energy connects EVs to grid networks, intelligently managing charging for more than 120,000 EVs daily by charging vehicles at grid-friendly times and connecting them to the company’s virtual power plant (VPP).

This latest funding round provides a pathway for ev.energy to access an additional 400 million energy customers by utilising their shareholders’ energy retail, fleet, vehicle and insurance networks.

The funding round was led by National Grid Partners (NGP) with support from Aviva Ventures, WEX Venture Capital and InMotion Ventures, with continued support from existing investors Energy Impact Partners (EIP), Future Energy Ventures (FEV) and ArcTern Ventures.

The funding will also enable ev.energy to expand its global operations while building on its growth across the US and UK.

Since 2018, ev.energy has won over 30 national, regional and municipal utility contracts while developing partnerships with charging brands and auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like the Volkswagen Group.

In announcing the funding, the company cites their offering of moving, storing and discharging energy for megawatts in flexible capacity as a crucial service in a time when utilities in the US and Europe tackle extreme weather conditions, placing significant strain on the electricity grid system.

Bobby Kandaswamy, Senior Director of Pathfinding & Incubation Investments at National Grid Partners, commented, “ev.energy’s approach to providing a convenient, compelling experience for drivers to charge at home and on the road during grid-friendly times is essential for grid operators.

“Combined with its V2G services, ev.energy positions utilities like National Grid as an accelerant to the clean energy transition.” As part of NGP’s investment, Kandaswamy has joined the ev.energy board of directors.

ev.energy will also use these partnerships to co-create services that leverage vehicle data, deliver smart charging and, in the future, more fully develop bi-directional charging.

WEX Venture Capital’s investment will support the expansion of ev.energy’s solution to bring managed charging to fleet vehicles.

For the latest finance and investment news coming out of the energy industry, make sure to follow Smart Energy Finances Weekly.

Yusuf Latief
Content Producer
Smart Energy International

Follow me on Linkedin

Pioneering green loan to accelerate UK-wide EV charging network https://www.smart-energy.com/finance-investment/pioneering-green-loan-to-accelerate-uk-wide-ev-charging-network/ Tue, 01 Aug 2023 14:07:39 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142936 In what is being called the UK’s first green loan for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, British energy company GRIDSERVE has announced over half a billion pounds in green financing for the expansion of its UK-wide EV charging network.

The company is calling the financing the largest debt raise to-date globally for a privately-owned chargepoint operator.

Comprising £326 million ($416.8 million) in committed loan facilities, with a further £200 million ($255.7 million) uncommitted accordion facility for future assets – a total of £526 million ($672.5 million) – the green infrastructure financing facility covers the company’s Sun-to-Wheel ecosystem.

The financing will be undertaken under GRIDSERVE’s Green Finance Framework which has been certified Dark Green by S&P Global’s Shades of Green (formerly CICERO), making it the first officially designated green loan for EV charging infrastructure in the UK, states GRIDSERVE in a press release announcing the financing.

Have you read:
Seven US automaker majors launch EV leadership bid
EU Council mandates trans-European EV charging corridors

Financing breakdown

The refinancing will extend to the UK company’s existing and future EV charging Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts, as well as related infrastructure including operational solar and battery projects, in the hopes of allowing GRIDSERVE to upgrade and expand its UK network.

Projected to include the installation of more than 500 new Electric Super Hubs nationwide, the growth will deliver more than 3,000 new High Power chargepoints with speeds of up to 350kW, capable of providing 100 miles of charge in five minutes.

The £326 million facility consists of a £300 million ($383.6 million) term loan, a £10 million ($12.8 million) working capital facility and a £16 million ($20.5 million) VAT facility.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “To secure the largest debt raise globally for a privately-owned charge point operator is a remarkable endorsement of GRIDSERVE’s electric vehicle charging network, our Sun-to-Wheel strategy, our fantastic team and our future expansion plans.

“This financing – which was a hugely popular transaction amongst banks, attracting overwhelming market demand – will accelerate our delivery, providing customers further confidence to go electric, and fully charge GRIDSERVE’s mission to move the needle on climate change, precisely at the time when urgent action is so critically required.”

The bank club behind the debt raise consists of: CIBC, KfW Ipex, Lloyds Bank, MUFG, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and UK Infrastructure Bank, with Santander also acting as the Green Structuring Bank and GRIDSERVE being advised by Santander Corporate & Investment Banking.

Other advisers and due diligence providers included Clifford Chance (legal), Arup (commercial), PwC (tax and financial), Aon (insurance) and Mazars (model audit), while lenders were advised by Latham & Watkins (legal). Lloyds is the Facility Agent and Security Bank, with Natixis as Hedging Coordinator.

Smart charging solution cuts 33 tonnes of carbon since start of year https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/smart-charging-solution-cuts-33-tonnes-of-carbon-since-start-of-year/ Mon, 31 Jul 2023 08:30:55 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142863 Charge Anytime, a smart charging solution developed by OVO Energy in the UK, has reported cutting carbon emissions by 33 tonnes since January this year.

The savings translate to 15 million miles covered by 5 million kWh of smart charging and saving over £1 million ($1.3 million) off EV charging bills.

OVO’s solution automatically shifts EV charging out of peak times, which falls between 4 to 7pm, to periods when there is more abundance of renewable energy being supplied to the grid, making it cheaper to charge.

OVO touts the total distance charged as equivalent to driving the length of the UK, from Lands End to John o’Groats, 144 times in an average petrol car.

Charge Anytime, powered by OVO-owned software company Kaluza, is an intelligent add-on, which gives customers access to a smart charging rate of 10p per kWh (3p a mile) at any time of day – three times cheaper than the national average (30p per kWh) and seven times cheaper than public charge points.

Have you read:
Smart Energy Finance: Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy
EU Council mandates trans-European EV charging corridors
For Enedis collective self-consumption is key to energy sharing 

The add-on works by automatically aligning cars to charge when emissions and prices are low, a move that OVO states will allow users to save 67% on charging costs.

Commenting on the announcement was Alex Thwaites, director of EV at OVO, who said: “It’s incredible to see the impact Charge Anytime is making for people and the planet.

“By using smart technology to shift EV charging out of peak times when the grid is more reliant on fossil fuels, we’re able to provide greener, cheaper energy for customers.”

On average, Charge Anytime customers saved £129 ($165.9) per month and OVO’s biggest saver has cut their EV charging costs by more than £1,800 ($2315.2) so far this year.

PG&E taps Schneider and Microsoft for new DERMS https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/smart-energy/pge-taps-schneider-and-microsoft-for-new-derms/ Sat, 29 Jul 2023 07:02:00 +0000 https://www.power-grid.com/?p=104292 At an innovation summit hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Schneider Electric, Microsoft and PG&E announced the deployment of a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) on Microsoft Azure to maintain grid reliability and accelerate customer adoption of distributed energy resources (DER) such as electric vehicles, energy storage and rooftop solar.

PG&E CEO Patti Poppe invited Schneider Electric North America CEO Annette Clayton and Daryl Willis, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Energy & Resources to talk a bit about the announcement during the event.

Poppe first recalled the heat wave that hit California in September last year. “I’ll never forget it; we were standing in our control room and we were watching the load curve go up. It was September 6th and it was getting dangerously close,” she said. Ultimately after CAISO used the public broadcast system to ask millions of Californians to conserve energy, there was no brownout. And while it is wonderful that the people saved the grid Poppe would rather not re-live that scenario.  

“Let’s not do that very often,” she said.

Instead, what if PG&E could “leverage distributed resources to supply energy on the hottest days at the lowest societal cost possible,” and that’s what this DERMS should allow PG&E to do, she said.

Have you read:
Itron’s IIoT and Samsung’s smart platform link for utility-scale DERMS
Energy Queensland deploys smart DERMS for load control

Clayton added that PG&E has been “innovating on one side of the meter and we’re innovating on the other side of the meter and that innovation really needed to intersect in a much more powerful way.”

Indeed, the exponential growth of DER promises much-needed load flexibility as more renewables come online. DERMS provides the ability to harness that flexibility when and where it’s needed.

The DERMS technology provides greater visibility into DER behavior and the ability to control DER intelligently. Greater situational awareness allows for more proactive management to keep the grid safe, secure and resilient, while helping utilities provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to their customers.

Schneider’s EcoStruxure DERMS is a cloud-based, grid-aware software platform, which runs on Microsoft Azure, that integrates, analyses and optimises data from DER — like solar, electric vehicles, battery energy storage and microgrids, according to the company. That data then provides electric grid operators with enhanced communication and coordination capabilities to unlock the value of DER as flexible grid resources. 

EVs as mobile energy storage

In California, where 23% of all new vehicles sold last year were EVs, Poppe sees great potential in eventually being able to tap into those EV batteries.

“We have almost 500,000 electric vehicles on our roads, which is the equivalent of 9000 megawatts of capacity,” she said. While today the utility thinks of those megawatts as load that needs to charge, “I imagine them as supply and with the DERMS platform we’re talking about, they can be leveraged at the right times,” she said.

PG&E serves more than 16 million people across Northern and Central California, where its customers are often early adopters of new, clean energy technologies. PG&E is taking proactive measures to ensure grid reliability and meet the growing electricity demands of California.

The utility has connected more than 700,000 customers with rooftop solar to the electric grid and more than 55,000 PG&E residential, business and government customers have installed battery energy storage systems connecting to the grid across PG&E’s service area, totaling more than 500 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

Plus PG&E has made significant progress deploying grid-scale battery energy storage. In August of 2020, PG&E had just 6.5 megawatts (MW) of battery energy storage connected to the power grid. Today, PG&E has 1,200MW of storage capacity operation and by September this year, it expects to have 1,700MW online, or enough to meet the instantaneous demand of 1.2 million homes at once. PG&E has contracts for battery energy storage systems totaling more than 3,000MW to be deployed over the next few years.

DERMs will enable the dispatch of these technologies when California needs energy most.

Also of interest:
Navigating energy management in an evolving landscape
Energy Transitions Podcast: The value of circular asset management

A unified team

The DERMS collaboration among Microsoft, PG&E and Schneider Electric to develop and launch a DERMS strategy symbolizes the power of a unified team with diverse talents and expertise working collaboratively to achieve a new utility-industry standard for integrating DER at scale, said the companies in a press release.

Clayton lauded PG&E’s comprehensive, cloud-enabled DERMS strategy as an example of Schneider Electric’s Grid to Prosumer philosophy. “This approach to optimise distributed energy resources is agile enough to keep up with 21st century demands on the grid. A stepwise approach is key in DER implementation to effectively handle short-term goals and prepare for the long-term vision.”

The collaboration builds on Schneider Electric’s 30-year co-innovation relationship with Microsoft to deliver solutions integrating Microsoft Azure, an open cloud computing platform with the tools, scale and security to address the demands of critical energy infrastructure today and in the future.

“Collaboration is key to addressing the complex global energy challenges and achieving a more sustainable future,” said Willis.

Priority use cases

Schneider Electric, Microsoft and PG&E have identified several foundation use cases for the new system, including:

  • Real-time visibility into all DER. Enhanced situational awareness of grid impacts, both in real-time and with forecasted lookahead, plus instant alerts for improved operations planning.
  • System capacity for peak summer days. Visualized DER capacity, timely impact analysis, customer feedback (measurement and verification) and additional DER capacity.
  • Local capacity for new service connections and interconnections. Oversight of interconnection requests enables utilities to leverage actionable data to faster evaluate and process DER connection requests and streamline processes that ensure resilience.
  • Reliability and resilience with energy storage. Utility-owned & aggregator-provided storage asset dispatch for improving local reliability and network deferral (non-wire alternatives).
  • Transportation electrification. Integration, managed charging and vehicle-to-grid coordination for residential vehicles and commercial fleets.

The companies are continuing to build and enhance the platform to address additional use cases over the next several years.

Originally published on Power Grid.

Seven US automaker majors launch EV leadership bid https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/seven-us-automaker-majors-launch-ev-charging-leadership-bid/ Fri, 28 Jul 2023 09:30:43 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142732 In a move to create “the leading network of high-powered charging stations in North America,” Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz Group, Hyundai, Kia, General Motors and Stellantis have announced an EV fast-charging joint venture.

The joint venture calls for at least 30,000 chargers to be installed in cities and along major highways in the US.

According to the partners in a press release announcing their partnership, the joint venture aims to become the leading network of high-powered charging stations in North America.

The network aims to provide reliable, high-powered charging capability and digital integration and will solely use renewable energy for its functions.

Each charging point along the network will have several DC chargers. Charging stations won’t be reserved for cars made by the seven companies as vehicles from all automakers will be allowed to use them.

Have you read:
EU Council mandates trans-European EV charging corridors
India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory

Specifically, eligible EVs will need to use either a Combined Charging System (CCS) or the North American Charging Standard (NACS).

The joint venture will leverage public funds, aiming to tap into those from the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as private funds to accelerate the installation.

Namely, the stations are expected to be in line with requirements for the US National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) programme, a grant programme that provides $5 billion in strategic funding to US states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to develop a national EV charging network.

Smart Energy Finances:
Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy

Awaiting closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the joint venture will be established later this year, with the first stations scheduled to open in the summer of 2024. Canada is being eyed for charging locations at a later date.

Commenting on the agreement was BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse, who said: “North America is one of the world’s most important car markets – with the potential to be a leader in electromobility.

“Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition. Therefore, seven automakers are forming this joint venture with the goal of creating a positive charging experience for EV consumers. The BMW Group is proud to be among the founders.”

Said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe: “The creation of EV charging services is an opportunity for automakers to produce excellent user experiences by providing complete, convenient and sustainable solutions for our customers.

“Toward that objective, this joint venture will be a critical step in accelerating EV adoption across the US and Canada and supporting our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.”

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), as of July 2023, there are 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers in the United States for use by 2.3 million electric vehicles, a ratio of 72 vehicles per charger.

The joint venture is being called a competitive move against Tesla, which has long dominated the electromobility sector.

Tesla accounted for more than 60% of US EV sales last year and has the largest network of fast chargers with almost 18,000 superchargers.

In February this year, Tesla opened its EV charging network to other brands in its own bid to build a cross-country charging network.

A name for the joint venture and investment amounts have not yet been released.

Hyundai and Seoul University open Joint Battery Research Center https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/new-technology/hyundai-and-seoul-university-open-joint-battery-research-center/ Thu, 27 Jul 2023 09:20:03 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142678 Automaker major Hyundai Motor Group and the South Korean public university Seoul National University have opened their Joint Battery Research Center, aiming to advance battery technologies and foster industry-academia cooperation.

The new research facility will create a space for battery-only research within the expanded Institute of Chemical Processes of Seoul National University, spanning three floors at 901m2.

The facility will consist of seven laboratories and conference rooms for battery development, analysis, measurement and process.

A memorandum of understanding on the Center was signed between the partners in November 2021.

Seoul National University’s first EV battery research facility

This is the first time, states Hyundai, that a research facility specialising in electric vehicle (EV) batteries has been built within Seoul National University.

With the opening of the Joint Battery Research Center, Hyundai Group will work with battery experts in South Korea to lay the groundwork for research and development of battery-related technologies.

The Joint Battery Research Center aims to focus on advanced research into leading next-generation battery technologies that can dramatically increase EV driving distance and shorten charging time, as well as research on battery condition monitoring technology and innovative process technology.

Have you read:
UK gives green light for ‘world’s largest’ battery project
India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory

A total of 22 joint research projects will be carried out in four divisions, including lithium metal batteries, solid-state batteries, battery management systems (BMS) and battery process technology.

Twenty-one professors, master’s and doctorate-level talents from South Korean universities will participate in the research. Fourteen of the 22 research projects will be related to lithium metal and solid-state batteries, focusing their core capabilities on developing next-generation batteries.

In the field of lithium metal batteries, research will be conducted on high-durability lithium-electrolyte material element technology and shape analysis to minimise deterioration, while in the field of solid-state batteries, research will be conducted on sulfide-based anode materials, electrode/electrolyte coating methods and ultra-high energy density cathode active materials.

From theory to application

3rd from left: Hong Lim Ryu, president of Seoul National University 3rd from right: Euisun Chung, executive chair of Hyundai Motor Group. Image courtesy Hyundai Group.

Stemming from the industry-academia collaboration, a key feature for the facility will be to focus equally on research considering mass production as for theory.

To that end, the Joint Battery Research Center has the same level of research infrastructure as the equipment applied to the Hyundai Motor and Kia R&D Centers, states Hyundai Group, such as precision battery analysis equipment, high-precision rheometers, cell manufacturing equipment, and impedance measuring devices, so that the university’s research results can be quickly applied to products.

Researchers from Hyundai Motor and Kia will be dispatched to the Center to participate as members of the joint research team.

Through consultations and seminars on battery technology, insights and development directions will be discussed, alongside a consultative body that will be formed regularly to share information on global battery industry trends and results.

Hyundai Group will have a support system to help the Joint Battery Research Center secure capabilities to develop next-generation batteries. To support research activities, the Group will invest over KRW30 billion ($23.5 million) by 2030. The investment includes the establishment of the Center and the preparation of experimental equipment.

The Group has appointed Professor Jang Wook Choi (최장욱), an expert in battery science, as the head of the Joint Battery Research Center. Professor Choi will oversee the overall research projects and management of technology development.

According to the Group, Hyundai Motor will invest KRW9.5 trillion ($74.4 billion) over the next 10 years to improve battery performance, develop next-generation batteries and build infrastructure.

EU Council mandates trans-European EV charging corridors https://www.smart-energy.com/policy-regulation/eu-council-mandates-trans-european-ev-charging-corridors/ Wed, 26 Jul 2023 09:46:33 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142622 The European Council has adopted a new law under the Fit for 55 policy that will see EV fast charging stations installed every 60km along the EU’s main transport corridors, the ‘trans-European transport (TEN-T) network’.

The European Council’s newly adopted Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) puts in place specific deployment targets that will have to be met in 2025 and 2030 across the transport sector.

Specifically, the regulation will see extensive recharging and refuelling stations for alternative fuels deployed across Europe to support the transport sector in reducing its carbon footprint.

“The new law is a milestone of our ‘Fit for 55’ policy providing for more public recharging capacity on the streets in cities and along the motorways across Europe. We are optimistic that in the near future, citizens will be able to charge their electric cars as easily as they do today in traditional petrol stations,” commented Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spanish minister of transport, mobility and urban agenda.

Have you read:
European Commission reviews the energy footprints of digital actions
India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory

Main deployment targets for 2025 and 2030

The regulation provides for the following specific deployment targets:

• From 2025 onwards, fast recharging stations of at least 150kW for cars and vans need to be installed every 60km along the EU’s TEN-T network
• Recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350kW need to be deployed every 60km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network from 2025 onwards, with complete network coverage by 2030
• Hydrogen refuelling stations serving both cars and lorries must be deployed from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes and every 200km along the TEN-T core network
• Maritime ports welcoming a minimum number of large passenger vessels, or container vessels, must provide shore-side electricity for such vessels by 2030
• Airports must provide electricity to stationary aircraft at all gates by 2025, and at all remote stands by 2030
• Users of electric or hydrogen-fuelled vehicles must be able to pay easily at recharging or refuelling points with payment cards or contactless devices and without a need for a subscription and in full price transparency
• Operators of recharging or refuelling points must provide consumers full information through electronic means on the availability, waiting time or price at different stations

Smart Energy Finance:
Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy

Infographic – Fit for 55: towards more sustainable transport. Image courtesy European Council.

The AFIR is part of the Fit for 55 package, which was presented by the Commission in July 2021. The package aims to enable the EU to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050.

The EU’s TEN-T policy aims to develop high-quality transport infrastructure across the EU, consisting of railways, inland waterways, short sea shipping routes and roads linking urban nodes, maritime and inland ports, airports and terminals.

The announcement of the AFIR coincided with the conclusion of negotiations surrounding the newly adopted Energy Efficiency Directive, which sets new binding targets for EU member states to reduce energy consumption.

Accurate location data: Futureproofing energy networks in the transition to net zero https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/energy-grid-management/accurate-location-data-futureproofing-energy-networks-in-the-transition-to-net-zero/ Tue, 25 Jul 2023 06:50:00 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141581 Paul French, Chief Commercial Officer at UK’s Ordnance Survey, describes how access to accurate location data can support utilities in futureproofing their networks for 2050 and beyond.

The UK has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, in accordance with its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

All eyes are on utilities providers as we transition to this net zero future, but it’s not as simple as flicking a switch and swapping to renewable energy generation.

Heat mapping

2022 was one of the hottest years on record in the UK, highlighting the effects of climate change on air temperature.

The UK is already leading the way in climate adaptation by using space data to monitor and understand the impact of climate change. For example, in a project backed by the UK Space Agency, Ordnance Survey is using satellite data to monitor and map heat in locations at greatest risk.

Have you read?
Satellite-powered vegetation management for the smart grid
Entering a new orbit of data

Revealing locations that are at greater risk allows local governments to plan better and implement effective policies to deal with extreme weather events. Accurate location data can also be used to optimise tree planting and land management, ensuring that planning is resilient to future change.

In cities, heat mapping can be used to find heat islands. These spots, where land surface is densely covered with roads, pavement, buildings and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat, could benefit from building adaptation. For example, retrofitting green roofs and green spaces could be used for heat pumps and as low carbon heat sources.

Heat mapping can also be used to enable community-driven energy generation, where an entire city or municipality create micro energy grids, powered by solar panels or nearby wind farms to help reduce demand on the national grid and lower its carbon footprint.

Asset planning

By 2030, it’s estimated that there will be between eight million and eleven million hybrid and electric cars in the UK, requiring 300,000 charging points. With just 37,000 existing in 2023, it’s clear that work is required to build this infrastructure.

For example, the Department for Transport, in conjunction with the University of Exeter, undertook a study to estimate the proportion of properties in a certain area that could accommodate private electric vehicle charge points powered by the household. Using Ordnance Survey’s geospatial data, combined with other data sets, an algorithm was developed that could be used to classify residential dwellings as potential locations for private charge points.

As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, data like this will prove to be vital.

Also, for public use chargers, it’s important to see additional data, like how many houses exist within a postcode and what the electricity supply in that area is like. This will allow chargers to be placed in the most efficient locations.

Avoiding strikes

Around four million kilometres of pipes, sewers and electricity and telecoms cables are buried underground in the UK, accounting for a significant proportion of the nation’s utility, building and transport infrastructure. It’s estimated that every seven seconds a hole is dug to access these assets for repairs, upgrades and new installations.

The vast amount of holes dug, coupled with the unreliability of underground asset location data, means that there are around 60,000 accidental strikes per year, leading to injury, project delays and disruption to traffic and local economies. The total cost of these accidental strikes is estimated to be around £2.4 billion (US$3 billion) every year.

The lack of a single source of location data for underground assets has had a huge impact on the number of strikes over the years. While location data exists, it’s siloed in separate private companies, with data sharing between them often slow and inefficient.

To help combat this, the UK Government has established a Geospatial Consortium, of which Ordnance Survey is a member. The consortium has been working for a number of years to build a National Underground Asset Register as a single, secure data-sharing service to record the location and characteristics of underground assets.

The register will provide workers with an interactive, standardised digital view of the underground assets in a given location, reducing the risk of accidental strikes and resultant delays, costs and disruption.

Better service

With energy bills higher than in previous years, it’s important for providers to be aware of customers that require additional support.

Ordnance Survey is participating in a pilot to overcome this called the Priority Services Register. The pilot brings together data from various utilities providers to build a master list of all residents in Great Britain that might require additional support from their providers.

Once the list is aggregated, it will be disseminated out to all of the utility providers involved so that they can understand which of their customers are vulnerable.

While utility providers will have some insight already, the Priority Services Register will help ensure that every resident is provided with the support that they need, especially as our reliance on fossil fuels reduces and the way that households receive energy changes.

Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is key to protecting our planet for the future. Accurate location data clearly has a key role to play towards meeting the challenges of this energy transition.

Ordnance Survey, the UK’s national mapping service, is a leading geospatial organisation and experienced geospatial partner for the national government and others around the world.

Technology Trending: Cybersecurity labelling, EV charging vulnerabilities, vortex rings https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/new-technology/technology-trending-cybersecurity-labelling-ev-charging-vulnerabilities-vortex-rings/ Mon, 24 Jul 2023 07:19:00 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142466 Cybersecurity labelling coming in the US for smart devices and meters, detecting EV charging vulnerabilities and how vortex rings may speed nuclear fusion are on the week’s technology radar.

Cybersecurity labelling introduced in US

A cybersecurity certification and labelling programme, the Cyber Trust Mark, has been launched in the US as a voluntary initiative for manufacturers to indicate the cyber worthiness of their devices.

The programme, which was proposed by the Federal Communications Commission, will be applicable to common devices such as smart refrigerators, smart microwaves, smart televisions, smart climate control systems, smart fitness trackers, etc.

Several major manufacturers and retailers have already made commitments to the programme, including Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics, Logitech and Samsung.

Have you read?
Gaps in EV codes tied to cybersecurity and grid interface issues
Energy Transitions Podcast: The value of circular asset management

Under the proposed programme, which is expected to be up and running in 2024, consumers can expect to see a distinct shield logo applied to products meeting established cybersecurity criteria.

With this, they can then make informed decisions on the relative security of products they choose to purchase and retailers will be encouraged to prioritise labelled products on their shelves and online.

A national registry of certified devices with specific and comparable security information also is planned.

While cybersecurity certification schemes are not uncommon, the consumer labelling proposal appears to be a first and will likely be replicated for other smart devices and in other regions.

In parallel with the launch of the US Cyber Trust Mark programme the US Department of Energy announced an initiative to work with national labs and industry partners to research and develop cybersecurity labelling requirements for smart meters and power inverters as essential components of the smart grid.

Detecting EV charging vulnerabilities

Idaho National Laboratory intern Jake Guidry has developed a cybersecurity research tool that could improve the security of electric vehicle charging.

The AcCCS tool, a combination of hardware and software that emulates the electronic communications that occur between an EV and an extreme fast charger during the charging process, provides access capabilities through the CCS (combined charging system) communications protocol.

The AcCCS hardware includes a charging port and a charging cable, both of which can be plugged into real-world equipment.

No charging power flows through the device. If one plugs the AcCCS into an EV, the vehicle’s computer thinks the battery is receiving a charge. If the tool is plugged into a 350kW fast charging station, the station thinks it is charging an electric vehicle.

“It’s basically acting like one to trick the other,” says Guidry, a master’s degree student in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who explains that with it not only can normal operations be skewed but also cyber attacks can be introduced.

In a demonstration, researchers used AcCCS to hack a charging station and a vehicle.

Future experiments should help them to develop best practice recommendations for the industry.

Vortex rings may speed nuclear fusion

Vortex rings – those rings of smoke that are the aspiration of novice cigarette smokers – may hold a key to advancing fusion energy as well as research on supernovae as the most explosive objects in the universe.

Nuclear fusion is the process of pushing atoms together until they merge. But part of the problem is that the fuel can’t be neatly compressed and instabilities cause the formation of jets that penetrate into the hotspot, with the fuel spurting out between them – similar to that of the juice of an orange that is squashed in a hand.

Modelling of the phenomenon by researchers at the University of Michigan has shown that the vortex rings that form at the leading edge of these jets are mathematically similar to smoke rings as well as the plasma rings that fly off the surface of a supernova.

Michael Wadas, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, explains that in a supernova the vortex rings move outward from the collapsing start whereas in fusion it moves inward, disrupting the stability of the burning fuel and reducing the efficiency of the reaction.

With their findings, the researchers hope to be able to understand the limits of the energy that a vortex ring can carry, and how much fluid can be pushed before the flow becomes turbulent and harder to model as a result.

In ongoing work, the team is validating the vortex ring model with experiments.

New York greenlights Con Edison’s $11.8bn clean energy investment plan https://www.smart-energy.com/regional-news/north-america/new-york-greenlights-con-edisons-11-8bn-clean-energy-investment-plan/ Fri, 21 Jul 2023 12:02:13 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142432 Investor-owned utility Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) has received state approval for critical clean energy investments totalling $11.8 billion that will help New York transition away from fossil fuels.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling sets electric and gas rates through 2025 and advances an investment plan that will help reach the state and city’s clean energy goals.

Tim Cawley, chairman & CEO of Con Edison, commented on the approval and how it will enable the utility to invest in the power grid to “accommodate increased demand as New Yorkers electrify their vehicles and the heating in their homes and businesses.”

The approved investments include projects under three brackets:

1. Investing in the community

Investment will spur infrastructure development across New York City and Westchester, with projects that include:

  • The Crown Heights Network Split, which will ensure reliable service and promote electrification in the Crown Heights neighbourhood of Brooklyn.
  • The Williamsburg Network Improvement project, which will enable the electrification of transportation and heating in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn.
  • An expansion of capacity of the Parkview Substation in Manhattan, which will facilitate the MTA’s 2nd Avenue subway expansion and promote electrification in Mott Haven.
  • The new Gateway Park Area Substation in East New York, which will support electrification and the delivery of offshore wind energy to local disadvantaged communities.
  • A new energy storage system in the Glendale area of Queens and one in the Travis area of Staten Island.
  • Continuation of Con Edison’s its storm hardening programme in Westchester County, adding smart switches to overhead power lines, stronger wiring and poles.
  • Installation of elevated equipment at substations in Westchester to protect from severe flooding.

Have you read:
Landis+Gyr’s Revelo smart meter gets New York’s green light
National Grid USA to demonstrate UK flexibility marketplace in New York

2. Investing in a clean and reliable future

The investment plan includes funding for a range of infrastructure projects across New York City and Westchester that will enable homes and businesses to switch to clean energy alternatives, including:

  • $800 million for Reliable Clean City Projects that will help build new electrical transmission lines, deliver substantial renewable energy and facilitate the retirement of fossil-fuel-powered plants.
  • Over $800 million in storm hardening and resiliency projects.
  • $900 million in energy efficiency and clean heat funding.
  • More than $20 million in energy storage projects.

3. Investing to protect vulnerable New Yorkers

The investment package also extends to efforts to address disadvantaged communities and supports our most vulnerable customers through programmes focused on bill affordability including:

  • Rate relief to low-income customers enrolled in the Energy Assistance Programme by targeting an electric discount program cost of $166.3 million per year and $35.8 million per year for the gas programme.
  • Primary Feeder Reliability Programme, which will enhance electric reliability and resilience in disadvantaged communities.
  • Selective Undergrounding Pilot, which will enhance electric resilience, including in disadvantaged communities.
  • Glendale Substation Storage Project, which will support the distribution system serving a disadvantaged community.
  • Programmes that will help the company provide more information quicker to customers via the company website, phone and texts.

“Our customers demand safe, reliable and increasingly renewable energy,” said Matt Ketschke, president of Con Edison of New York. “This rate plan allows us to continue delivering the world-class service New Yorkers deserve with programmes including undergrounding overhead lines to make them more resilient.

“On our gas system, we’ll maintain safety and reliability through targeted gas main replacement and advanced leak detection while supporting customers’ transitions from fossil fuels. We continue to support and invest in programmes and technology that improve efficiencies to keep costs affordable and support our most vulnerable customers.”

The funding approval comes after extensive engagement and negotiation with the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) and stakeholders.

It was supported fully or in part by New York City and several other parties including the MTA, New York Power Authority, Natural Resources Defense Council, and New York Energy Consumers Council, among others.

Smart Energy Finance: Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy https://www.smart-energy.com/finance-investment/smart-energy-finance-funding-for-autonomous-ev-charging-and-gridbeyonds-acquisition-of-veritone-energy/ Fri, 21 Jul 2023 09:49:48 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142385 On this week’s Smart Energy Finances radar: a successful Series A funding round for Rocsys, which has been developing an autonomous EV charging solution; Dublin-based Veritone’s acquisition of an AI-driven energy optimisation solution; an expansive Series B for a VPP provider; and an acquisition to bolster Sagemcom’s position in the French water and electrical distribution markets.

Series A for autonomous EV charging

Rocsys, a developer of autonomous charging solutions for electric transportation, has announced a $36 million Series A funding round.

Rocsys combines soft robotics, AI-based computer vision and data-driven services to adapt existing chargers into an autonomous system that can plug in and out without manual intervention.

According to the Dutch company, the solution removes the risk of operator errors, ensures regulatory compliance and vehicle uptime and minimises damage and human exposure to high-voltage equipment.

They add how the solution works for consumer and fleet vehicles, including port equipment, industrial applications, heavy-duty and more.

Led by SEB Greentech Venture Capital, the round includes participation from Graduate Entrepreneur, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and returning investor Forward.One.

With the investment, which includes a roughly equal split of debt and equity financing, Rocsys will expand the capabilities of its platform as it scales up its presence in the US and Europe.

“There’s too much friction in the EV charging process today, creating needless barriers to sustainable transportation,” said Rocsys Co-founder and CEO Crijn Bouman.

Have you read:
India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory
US-EU research collaboration releases EV transatlantic trade recommendations

Image courtesy Rocsys.

“That’s why we created a technology-agnostic solution that converts any charger into a fully automated experience, maximising the return on investment and sustainability impact of already-installed charging infrastructure. With this Series A funding, we’re bringing this breakthrough solution to more customers and industries worldwide.”

The capital infusion will support research and development into additional features for the platform, which include intelligent parking guidance, expanded software integrations for vehicle navigation and fleet management systems and additional remote diagnostics and teleoperations support.

Rocsys also plans to build out its North American division, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, to further support application engineering and customer service in the region while expanding local supply chain and manufacturing activities.

As part of the round, Rocsys welcomes four new members to its Board of Advisors, including Mikko Huumo of SEB, Frederik Gerner, and Jan Willem Friso of Forward.One, and new chairperson Dr Gregor Matthies.

Ireland’s GridBeyond acquires Veritone Inc Energy Business

Through an acquisition, Veritone Energy’s acumen and energy management solutions have been integrated into Irish tech developer GridBeyond.

California-based Veritone develops software that uses AI for energy forecasting, optimisation, and control, aiming to unlock the full potential of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) while enhancing reliability.

Dublin-headquartered GridBeyond, on the other hand, develops a technology platform that provides real-time optimisation of distributed assets across a range of industries and asset types.

The acquisition sees Veritone’s extensive portfolio of such AI-powered solutions integrated into the Irish business. It is also a strong growth signal for GridBeyond, expanding its capabilities in the US.

The combination of the two technologies will allow GridBeyond to offer more functionalities to its customers through a new design platform, which they describe as “an extremely accurate forecasting technology” in a press release announcing the acquisition.

One particular combination is that of Veritone’s aiWARE Enterprise platform, which utilises AI forecasting to boost profit from DERs, into GridBeyond’s virtual power plant (VPP) platform.

Smart Energy Finances:
Enel divests 50% of Australian renewable operations to Japanese oil and gas giant
EEX expands footprint in Western Europe with Nasdaq acquisition
Rough seas ahead for Thames Water

Equity capital for a VPP

In the realm of VPPs, Leap, a software platform that aggregates DERs and connects them into VPPs, has secured a new capital raise totalling $12 million in equity financing.

The California-based company utilises customer meter points – to date connecting over 70,000 in the US – to facilitate automated access to energy markets.

Assets such as battery storage systems, EV charging points, smart thermostats, building management systems and other DERs are connected, with the aim of easing the process for technology providers and operators to earn revenue in demand response and other grid services programmes.

Leap co-founder and CEO Thomas Folker, commented on the successful finances: “With this new investment, we will continue to add high-value features to our platform, grow our network of technology partners and expand our value stack across geographies as we advance our mission to decarbonise the world’s electric grids.”

Earlier this year in April, the US-based VPP operator joined the Virtual Power Plant Alliance (VP3).

“Distributed energy resources are a growing priority for both consumers and utilities. With Leap’s unique ability to monetise all types of assets — from energy storage to electric vehicles to building management systems — it is a market maker in an increasingly crowded field,” said Standard Investments’ Logan Ashcraft, who was named to Leap’s board of directors.

The funding round was led by Standard Investments with participation by DNV Ventures and Sustainable Future Ventures as well as existing Leap investors, including Union Square Ventures, Congruent Ventures and National Grid Partners.

VPPs aggregate DERs to improve grid reliability, reduce the grid’s carbon intensity and help enable the integration of more clean energy sources. Image courtesy Business Wire

An acquisition to bolster ultrasonic water meter readings

French industrial group Sagemcom, which develops broadband communication and energy solutions, has acquired Odit-e, a French digital player specialising in AI solutions for the planning, operation and maintenance of low-voltage drinking water electrical distribution networks.

The acquisition enables Sagemcom to broaden its range of software solutions (namely the Siconia software suite) for network managers, relying on Odit-e for the analysis of data collected by smart meters and sensors installed in the networks.

According to Sagemcom, the Siconia technology offering includes a range of ultrasonic smart water meters to control, monitor and manage water use in residential and industrial environments.

Odit-e’s solutions, utilising smart meter-gathered data, aims to inform decision making for DSOs, through ‘Physics informed AI’ algorithms.

Thus, through the acquisition, Sagemcom is aiming to strengthen its position in the electricity and water distribution markets.

In a release announcing the acquisition, Patrick Sevian, Sagemcom president commented on how the deal “strengthens our expertise in energy transition and enables us to meet the growing needs of energy and water distribution operators.

“By combining the skills of Odit-e and Sagemcom, we are convinced that we will be able to offer ever more innovative and efficient industrial solutions to our customers.”

Make sure to follow Smart Energy Finances Weekly for the latest in finance and investment announcements coming from the energy industry.

Yusuf Latief
Content Producer
Smart Energy International

Follow me on LinkedIn

India’s Tata selects UK for £4bn EV battery gigafactory https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/indias-tata-selects-uk-for-4bn-ev-battery-gigafactory/ Thu, 20 Jul 2023 12:41:15 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142337 As the UK fears being outpaced in the EV race, Tata Group announces a 40GW battery cell gigafactory in Somerset.

The Indian conglomerate announced the battery cell gigafactory in the UK, valued at over £4 billion ($5.2 billion), which will deliver electric mobility and renewable energy storage solutions for customers in UK and Europe.

The battery gigafactory will produce battery cells and packs for a variety of applications within the mobility and energy sectors. Tata Group will coordinate the venture through its fully-owned arm, Agratas Energy Storage Solutions.

The investment is being hailed as establishing a much-needed competitive green tech ecosystem in the UK at scale.

Have you read:
Volkswagen starts trading on German electricity market
Tata Power wins 1.86 million smart meter order

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, commented on the multi-billion pound investment, which will “bring state-of-the-art technology to the country, helping to power the automotive sector’s transition to electric mobility, anchored by our own business, Jaguar Land Rover.”

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, added: “Tata group’s decision to build their new gigafactory here in the UK – their first outside of India – is a huge vote of confidence in Britain. This will be one of the largest ever investments in the UK automotive sector.

“It will not only create thousands of skilled jobs for Britons around the country, but it will also strengthen our lead in the global transition to electric vehicles, helping to grow our economy in clean industries of the future.”

Battery factory a saving grace for UK in the EV race

The EV battery factory announcement comes in as the UK has been experiencing a slow start to their EV industry.

Earlier this year in March, the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) issued a call to government to respond urgently to international movements in the EV sector.

The US’s inflation reduction act, for example, has been attracting immense investment from global players as a lucrative market for electric mobility.

According to the SMMT, the UK has significant potential from the progress already made by the domestic automotive sector and supply chain, although more has been needed to capitalise.

Smart Energy Finances: EV charging to exceed $300 billion globally by 2027

Commenting on Tata’s news, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, emphasized how the gigafactory marks “a shot in the arm for the UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.

“It comes at a critical moment, with the global industry transitioning at pace to electrification, producing batteries in the UK is essential if we are to anchor wider vehicle production here for the long term. We must now build on this announcement by promoting the UK’s strengths overseas, ensuring we stay competitive amid fierce global pressures and do more to scale up our EV supply chain.”

The gigafactory hopes to utilise 100% clean power for its manufacturing processes alongside battery recycling technologies to recover and reuse original raw materials.

JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) and Tata Motors will be anchor customers, with supplies commencing from 2026.

Volkswagen starts trading on German electricity market https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/smart-energy/volkswagen-starts-trading-on-german-electricity-market/ Fri, 14 Jul 2023 11:08:14 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142092 Volkswagen Group the first automotive company to trade on the German electricity market

Volkswagen Group and subsidiary Elli have announced the start of energy trading on the German electricity market of Europe’s largest power exchange, EPEX Spot, through the use of vehicle batteries and a digital electricity trading platform.

The pilot project is being driven forward jointly by Elli and Volkswagen After Sales and is a first step on the way to a planned Smart Energy Platform for Elli.

Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH, known by the brand name Elli, is responsible for the VW Group’s energy and charging solutions as well as the battery business.

In the future, Volkswagen and Elli want to utilise the growing storage capacities of electric cars and batteries in the energy system, with the potential to expand capacities for energy trading.

Smart Energy Finances: EEX expands footprint in Western Europe with Nasdaq acquisition

Peak energy trading hours

Elli’s market participation occurs through an intelligent platform for trading, controlling and optimising batteries.

Bids can be automatically placed on the stock exchange via the platform. The trading results are translated into a timetable and the battery is automatically charged or discharged.

Electricity is purchased during periods of low prices, with a tendency towards a high share of renewables, and sold during periods of high prices, with a tendency towards a low share.

As a result, states Elli, trading revenues can be generated and renewable energy is used in a more optimal setting. The stationary battery storage uses 28 battery systems and 34 ‘e-up!’ cell modules.

Have you read:
US-EU research collaboration releases EV transatlantic trade recommendations
Flexibility key within new EU electricity market reform proposal

Elli and VW Group have ambitions of developing a smart energy platform, which will be later used for more complex applications.

Elli cites the example of investigating the possibilities and scalability of large-scale storage systems together with the battery company PowerCo. In the future, they state, the growing e-car fleet can also be integrated into the energy grid via V2H (vehicle to home) and V2G (vehicle to grid) technologies and serve as a mobile power bank.

Elli CEO Giovanni Palazzo commented on the partnership, calling VW Group “Europe’s largest mobility service provider in the field of charging and energy. We want to further expand this leading position and develop Elli into a leading trading company for battery flexibility.

“Electricity trading is a major milestone on this path. Our long-term goal is clear: We want to give our customers a clear advantage in terms of electricity prices and at the same time develop new, high-revenue business models that will strengthen Elli in the long term.”

Volue’s optimisation

The energy model used by Volkswagen makes use of an optimisation and trading solution from Volue Energy GmbH, through which Elli has begun intraday energy trading.

The solution comprises the BoFiT optimisation module and the VAT-P trading module for automated transaction processing.

Volue’s energy trading solution went live on July 12, 2023.

Elli has started marketing batteries in a trial set-up from Volkswagen Group After Sales in Baunatal, Hesse. This will hold a battery capacity of up to 335MWh. Further power centres are planned.

Energy Transitions Podcast: Talking pros and cons of EU’s electricity market reforms with EFET

Elli is also testing the value chain for the future power centres with a trial storage set-up in Baunatal from Volkswagen Group After Sales, which was successfully connected to Elli’s battery control system in June this year.

According to Volue, in combination with charging management and monitoring, BoFiT determines how much power can be bought or released and whether the conditions are favourable for buying or selling power on the exchange.

Volue Algo Trader Power takes the trading recommendations calculated by BoFiT and manages trading on the exchange. This ranges from generating bids to completing the transaction.

Said Kora Töpfer, head of German public & regulatory affairs at the European Power Exchange EPEX Spot: “We are pleased to welcome the Volkswagen Group and Elli as the first automotive company to trade with us on the German electricity market.

“Our continuously growing electricity exchange needs companies that want to get involved in trading and control the growth of renewable energies with us in order to compensate for fluctuating demand and energy supply.”

EIB increases REPowerEU support to €45 billion https://www.smart-energy.com/finance-investment/eib-increases-repowereu-support-to-e45-billion/ Thu, 13 Jul 2023 12:15:44 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=142015 The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced plans to increase its support package to the REPowerEU plan from 30 billion to €45 billion alongside an expanded eligibility scope for projects to better align with the EU Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan.

The EIB’s Board of Directors decided to raise the additional funds earmarked for projects aligned with REPowerEU – a plan designed to end Europe’s dependence on fossil-fuel imports – from the initial €30 billion ($33.5 billion) package announced in October 2022 to €45 billion ($50.2 billion). The decision was made at the EIB Group’s July meeting in Luxembourg.

The new funding marks a fresh record for the Group, expanding its support to the build-up of manufacturing capacity for strategic net-zero technologies and products.

Projects eligible for financing include renewables, energy storage, grids and energy efficiency, as well electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

In practice, the EIB will support manufacturing in solar and thermal photovoltaics, onshore and offshore wind turbines, battery storage, heat pumps, electrolysers and fuel cells, grid technologies, sustainable biogas and carbon capture and storage.

All projects must comply with the Bank’s environmental, social, climate and procurement standards.

Have you read:
EIB approves €4bn in clean energy investment
EIB to fast charge Spanish EV network with €40m loan

The additional funding will be deployed by 2027 and is expected to mobilise in total more than €150 billion ($167.3 billion) in investment.

Also eligible are investments related to the extraction, processing and recycling of related critical raw materials.

Also aligning with the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the EIB has stated it will support the re-skilling and upskilling cost of the EU’s workforce and work closely with education systems and institutions, including in vocational education and training, to ensure that they have the proper means to deliver the required set of skills for the net-zero transition.

The EIB’s Board of Directors also approved €10 billion ($11.2 billion) in new lending for projects.

The approvals include new wind and solar generation in Spain and Austria, grid upgrades in Italy, and an electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing Gigafactory in France.

“We are deploying the full range of our available financial firepower to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness, manufacturing and the rollout of critical technologies that will lead us to a swift and just transition to net zero,” said EIB president Werner Hoyer. “The people of our Union can always count on the unwavering support of their Bank.”

90% of the additional lending foreseen under the EIB’s REPowerEU+ package will be provided by the EIB; the remaining 10% via the EIF (European Investment Fund), subject to EIF Board approval.

Outside the EU, the Board also approved financing for a new electricity interconnector between Ecuador and Peru and streamlined financing for small-scale clean energy and green transition projects across Africa.

Demand side key to UK’s net-zero future says National Grid ESO https://www.smart-energy.com/regional-news/europe-uk/demand-side-key-to-uks-net-zero-future-says-national-grid-eso/ Tue, 11 Jul 2023 08:06:52 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141861 National Grid ESO has released this year’s Future Energy Scenarios, outlining potential routes to a net zero by 2050 scenario. Key within this year’s report is the role of the demand side and activating consumer participation through low-carbon technology is flagged to be pivotal in enabling net zero.

During a webinar discussing the report’s findings, Lauren Stuchfield, energy analysis and insights manager for ESO, commented: “Policy is not always enough. We must see the action on [the] back of this policy in order to achieve net zero.”

Added Fintan Slye, executive director of the ESO: “The world is heating up and the clock is ticking; the time for action is now.”

The 2023 report makes the following recommendations:

1. Policy and delivery

Net zero policy: The Government must continue to reduce investment uncertainty around the business case for net zero-critical technologies such as Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES), transport and storage of hydrogen and CO2, low carbon dispatchable power and negative emissions technologies. A clear plan is needed for the funding and development of hydrogen and CCUS projects beyond delivery of the first industrial clusters.

Focus on heat: There is a need to accelerate both the uptake of heat pumps and the decision on whether hydrogen will be used for large-scale heating. While some progress is being made through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, further policy support and incentives are needed to increase the uptake rates of heat pumps. Alongside this, a clear decision on hydrogen for heating should be accelerated and heat pump targets and incentives reviewed accordingly.

Negative emissions: Negative emissions technology is required to enable a net zero energy system. Robust emissions accounting standards are needed to ensure both investor and public confidence in a negative emissions market. Further demonstration of innovative emissions removal technologies is required to reduce uncertainties over technology and commercial readiness.

Although these movements in policy are needed, caution should also be taken to look beyond. So stated Lauren Stuchfield, energy analysis and insights manager for ESO: “Policy is not always enough. We must see the action on [the] back of this policy in order to achieve net zero.”

Have you read:
Time running out for UK to meet net zero commitments – Climate Change Committee
National Grid and SSEN launch UK’s ‘largest ever transmission project’

2. Consumer and digitalisation

Empowering change: There is a need to instil trust for consumers and they must be advised on how they can best engage in the energy transition. This could be delivered through an information campaign, supported by a national advice service.

Digitalisation and innovation: Innovation and smart digital solutions are required to enable consumers to further benefit from energy savings at times when they are not able to manually adjust their demand.

Mandating technology manufacturers to include smart capability in their products is key to the delivery of smart homes. Further incentives and grants can encourage greater innovation and implementation of smart digital solutions. Successful delivery of Market wide Half Hourly Settlement will enable consumers to participate more readily in demand flexibility.

Energy efficiency: Further emphasis is needed to harness the potential of efficiency improvements in reducing energy demand. Energy efficiency improvements to the construction and technology within our homes must be accelerated. Radical overhaul is required to achieve this both in new build and existing housing stock. Targets for minimum energy efficiency standards should extend beyond the private rented sector. Additional incentives and grants must be considered to ensure energy efficiency improvements are available for more consumers.

3. Markets and flexibility

Distributed flexibility: The growth of distributed flexibility (flexible energy demand resources, such as storage, EVs, heat pumps and thermal storage, connected at distribution level) is a key enabler to achieving net zero. A market-wide strategy, including government targets, policy support and market reform is required to facilitate the significant growth in distributed flexibility. This can also provide incentives for consumers to provide Demand Side Response, such as smart charging of EVs.

Transport flexibility: Across all future scenarios, cars are primarily electrified, increasing electricity demand and requiring strategies to manage how they are charged and how system costs are recovered. Increasing implementation of smart EV charging is a no regret action to help reduce the impact on peak demand and reduce curtailment of renewables.

Commercial trials of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) business models are required to explore their viability and contribution system services. It also requires current challenges to be addressed, such as the slow rollout of charging infrastructure.

Locational signals: Market reform is needed to provide the real-time locational signals required to optimise decisions on when and where flexible energy sources are used. Improving locational signals has the potential to deliver significant cost savings to consumers and support the delivery of decarbonisation targets.

4. Infrastructure and whole energy system

Strategic network investment: Strategic and timely investment across the whole energy system is critical to achieving decarbonisation targets and minimising network constraints. Accelerated coordinated planning and delivery of strategic, whole system investment through Centralised Strategic Network Planning (CSNP) will require continued collaboration and engagement with the Government, Ofgem, local communities, industry and the supply chain. Strategic network investment should be enabled through reforms to the planning system, while also balancing social and environmental impacts.

Connections reform: Connections reform is required to facilitate quicker, more coordinated and efficient connection to the GB electricity system to deliver net zero. Continued collaboration between Government, Ofgem and industry is critical. The process must be future-proofed to facilitate potential prioritisation of connections for delivery of whole system benefits and net zero in line with strategic network planning.

Location of large electricity demands: New large electricity demands, including electrolysers to convert electricity to hydrogen, will be required for net zero. This demand has significant potential to deliver whole system flexibility and reduced network constraints alongside decarbonisation. A coherent strategy is required to ensure large electricity demands are located where they provide the biggest benefit to consumers and the whole energy system.

Industry response

Responding to the report, Jon Ferris, head of flexibility and storage at LCP Delta, commented: “The report is a transformation from a few years ago, where scenarios largely failed to meet the net zero target. Three scenarios describe three different, plausible pathways to get there by 2050, but also highlight the risk that we don’t – electrification of heat and heavy industry, grid reinforcement, market reform and supporting demand side flexibility remain challenges that need to be addressed.”

“EVs are clearly winning in transport decarbonisation, but only a small proportion of the capacity is seen as providing flexibility…It confirms the direction of travel in some areas (especially EVs, storage and flexibility), but also highlights outstanding questions (such as for hydrogen, LDES and market design).

Also commenting was Energy Savings Trust, whose head of policy Stew Horne said:

“Crucially, alongside enabling renewables and storage technology, people must be actively engaged with the energy system and incentivised to use energy more flexibly. The success of the Demand Flexibility Service last winter shows that people are willing to change their everyday behaviour to reduce their own energy demand, in turn helping to deliver flexibility in energy demand on a large scale.

“But this must be sustained. As we’ve highlighted in our new research for the Climate Change Committee with Green Alliance, behaviour change campaigns and the provision of impartial advice seen around the world are empowering people to understand how to best manage their energy use and insulate their homes. They are proving successful in reducing energy demand.

“While the solutions outlined in the scenarios today raise questions over who pays, when, and how to ensure it’s fair for all, we do know that a clear, long-term plan is needed to create certainty for industry and consumers to enable the net zero transition. There are still opportunities for the UK Government to provide such clarity this year, not least in its Autumn Statement.”

Iberdrola brings quantum computation to the Spanish grid https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/new-technology/iberdrola-brings-quantum-computation-to-the-spanish-grid/ Tue, 11 Jul 2023 06:54:14 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141858 Iberdrola is partnering with Basque Country headquartered startup Multiverse Computing on quantum algorithms for Spain’s grid.

Specifically the goal of the 10-month programme, which will involve Iberdrola’s distributor in Spain, i-DE, is to bring the power of quantum computing to determine the optimal number, type and locations of supplemental batteries for the grid.

Some of the many variables that must be considered include connections with neighbouring power systems, flexibility in existing generation sources and the hourly, daily and seasonal changes in power demands.

Multiverse’s quantum algorithm team intend to use quantum and quantum-inspired algorithms to solve these computationally complex problems, which are beyond the power of classical computers.

Have you read?
New quantum solutions for the energy sector
Targeting grid resilience with digitalisation

The project forms part of the Gipuzkoa Quantum Programme in Spain’s Basque Country and emerged out of Iberdrola’s commitment to collaborate with local startups on technology innovations.

The battery optimisation problem was selected by i-DE as key for integrating the increasing capacity of renewable generation.

“The Basque Country has become a reference point for quantum computing, and Iberdrola, committed to this land and to innovation, has located here the global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, its international reference centre in the development of technologies for smart grids,” says Iker Urrutia, i-DE’s Gipuzkoa Area Manager.

“Therefore, Iberdrola’s collaboration with Multiverse is a natural alliance that will keep Gipuzkoa and the Basque Country at the forefront of quantum innovation.”

Quantum computing use cases

Optimisation problems involving the evaluation of large numbers of different combinations are considered a likely use case for quantum computing due to their complexity.

More broadly with the increasing number of sensors and other components in the smart grid, other scalability issues also are envisaged for quantum computation such as PMU placement, while another is the optimal scheduling and dispatch of electricity.

Multiverse Computing also reports that in the US its optimisation solutions are primed to assist with battery placement to support solar and wind installations in cities and states, particularly where utility performance-based regulation has been introduced.

Among other projects in which Multiverse Computing is participating is the Renault-led innovation ecosystem for electric and connected vehicles in Spain.

The project is focussed on areas including decarbonisation, connectivity and mobility and the company is creating new algorithms to better support new testing platforms and other operations for these vehicles.

€350 million for storage in Spain

The project appears to be timely, coming at the same time as the European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €350 million scheme to support the construction and operation of approximately 1,000MW of storage facilities in Spain.

The goals of the scheme, which will run until June 2026, are to increase the share of renewables in the system, decrease the curtailment of renewables at times of overproduction and support the secure operation of the Spanish electricity system.

The awards of contracts to the selected projects should take place before the end of 2024. The storage facilities should enter operation by the end of 2026, except for pumped hydro storage, which may enter operation by the end of 2030.

Maine rivalling California in progressive thinking about the future of the grid https://www.smart-energy.com/policy-regulation/maine-rivalling-california-in-progressive-thinking-about-the-future-of-the-grid/ Sat, 08 Jul 2023 07:23:00 +0000 https://www.power-grid.com/?p=104041 New legislation directs the state to begin a DSO study to enable a true market for distributed energy resources.

Most energy insiders recognize that the transition to clean energy will require a large percentage of distributed energy resources (DER), particularly distributed solar PV, batteries, electric vehicles, grid-interactive buildings, and more. These DER will need to be dispatched as part of a system that asks them to both push energy to the grid and absorb it in order to keep the grid stable as it seeks to balance generation from large inverter-based resources, i.e. wind and solar power.

Today in the US there are grid operators and an energy market at the transmission level, but the distribution utilities have always focused on the (extremely complex) task of delivering energy that is reliable, safe, and affordable. In the future, that might need to change and the state of Maine is taking initial steps toward what that DER-heavy future might look like.

Have you read:
NREL outlines US-wide electric vehicle charging network requirements
The hidden threat to power quality on the electric grid

In late June, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed legislation — LD 952: An Act to Create a 21st-Century Electric Grid — that could modernize Maine’s electric grid.  

The bill directs the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) to hire a third-party consultant to conduct a two-part study for the design of a distribution system operator (DSO) in Maine. A DSO would function in Maine much like the existing independent system operator of the New England region, ISO New England, whose role is electric grid operation, market administration and power system planning. 

Part one of the study evaluates whether it is possible to design a DSO in Maine to achieve a reduction in electricity costs for customers, improve electric system reliability and performance in the state and meet Maine’s climate goals and growth of distributed energy resources at an accelerated rate. If possible, and the GEO agrees, the consultant would then proceed to design the DSO. 

“LD 952 designs the future electricity grid Maine will need to achieve its climate goals, ensuring both cost efficiency and reliability for customers and the state’s economy,” said sponsor of the bill, Gerry Runte. “We are presently transitioning toward a smarter, digitalized grid that seamlessly incorporates local electricity sources. This transition was never anticipated by our current grid design, which has remained largely unchanged over the last 100 years.” 

The GEO will present an analysis based on the consultant’s DSO design to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2025. Otherwise, if the consultant finds it is not possible to design a DSO meeting the required objectives stated above, the GEO will present part one of the consultant’s study to the Legislature within 60 days of the completion of part one of the study. 

“If Maine wants to achieve its climate goals and ensure that its distribution grids are as economical and as reliable as they can be, and if Maine wants its electric grid to serve its citizens and attract new business to the state, it needs to adopt a different perspective as to how its electricity delivery system operates, is controlled and regulated,” said Runte. “This is not a far-off vision – the technologies to implement a modern grid are readily available. What’s needed is a solid plan, the will to execute it and the willingness to become a leader in grid modernization.” 

The new law will go into effect 90 days after final adjournment of the legislative session.

This article was first published on the Power Grid website.

Netherlands funds consortium to electrify logistics sector and drive flexibility https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/netherlands-funds-consortium-to-electrify-logistics-sector-and-drive-flexibility/ Fri, 07 Jul 2023 09:18:00 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141725 The Dutch government has announced a funding award for a consortium of 29 companies and knowledge institutions to develop a charging solution for the country’s logistics sector that will flexibly alleviate congestion from the grid.

The Netherlands-based fast-charging developer Heliox is leading the Charging Energy Hubs Project, which consists of 29 consortium stakeholders, including Shell, Prodrive, DAF, DAMEN, Scholt Energy, Firan, ElaadNL, Dynniq Energy and TNO, among others.

The project, which has been approved for an unannounced amount of funding from the Dutch government’s National Growth Fund, aims to accelerate the electrification of the logistics sector through collaboration, research and innovation.

Additionally, it aims to focus on “an efficient use of smart energy systems to maximize grid efficiency through smart energy solutions”, according to a press release.

The project will look at the development of decentralised energy systems that act as a link between electricity consumers and suppliers.

Heliox states that “by seamlessly integrating charging infrastructure, renewable energy and other energy sources, energy storage, and local consumers, these charging energy hubs allow flexibility during peak demand or grid balancing issues.

“This solution alleviates grid congestion while ensuring a solid business case for charging infrastructure investments.”

Have you read:
2022 tripled Dutch electricity demand: Stedin calls for large-scale flexibility
TransnetBW & Tesla: Germany’s redispatch ready for flexibility

Michael Colijn, CEO of Heliox, commented on the funding support: “We are thrilled to receive the support of the National Growth Fund as we accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility, reinforcing the Netherlands as a powerhouse in the logistics and e-mobility sector. Cooperation among stakeholders in the value chain is crucial, and as Heliox, we are eager to lead the charge in this transformative project.”

Paul van Nunen, director of Brainport Development, commented on the hurdles in the way of the logistics sector to sustainability: “The transition to battery electric vehicles requires an additional capacity of the Dutch electricity grid, which is already increasingly subject to balancing and capacity problems.”

Adding to this was Thomas de Boer, president of Shell Commercial Road Transport, who stated how “electrification of the heavy-duty transport sector is crucial to decarbonising the sector. We are proud to participate in the ‘Charging Energy Hubs’ project in the Netherlands, a market that has been a shining star, leading the energy transition charge.

With zero-emission zones set to transform urban logistics by 2025, the demand for electric transport is expected to exponentially increase, states Heliox. However, the challenge lies in the limited capacity of the electrical grid to withstand the increasing demand for high-powered charging infrastructure.

The grid situation in the Netherlands has been one of over-congestion and recurring bottlenecks in several cities. This marks the latest flexibility initiative coming out of the country; a week before the announcement from Heliox, the Dutch government also announced the appointment of a flexibility coordinator.

TSO associations propose transmission network development scenarios for Europe https://www.smart-energy.com/digitalisation/tso-associations-propose-transmission-network-development-scenarios-for-europe/ Thu, 06 Jul 2023 11:04:00 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141690 Europe’s electricity and gas transmission operator organisations ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have proposed storylines to guide the development of the next ten-year network development plan.

The two storylines proposed are for two so-called ‘deviation scenarios’, which are deviations from the ‘national trends’ scenarios that are in line with national energy and climate policies.

With the aim to reflect the latest developments in national policies that are in line with European greenhouse gas reduction ambitions as well as to acknowledge the need for high ambition in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment and explore different levels of energy and other independences for the EU, the scenarios cover a wide range of possible future evolutions of the energy infrastructure.

The two scenarios are ‘Distributed energy’ and ‘Global ambition’ reflecting respectively more European and global approaches.

Have you read?
Europe’s energy system research priorities roadmapped to 2031
Energy sector will ‘transform the world for the better’ says Engie boss Catherine MacGregor

Broadly the ‘Distributed energy’ scenario pictures a pathway to achieving EU-27 carbon neutrality target by 2050 with higher European autonomy. The scenario is driven by a willingness of society to achieve high levels of independence in terms of energy supply and goods of strategic importance, e. g. industrial and agricultural produce.

It translates into both a behavioural shift and a strong decentralised drive towards decarbonisation through local initiatives by citizens, communities and businesses, supported by authorities.

Alternatively, the ‘Global ambition’ scenario pictures a pathway to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, driven by a fast and global move towards the Paris Agreement targets.

It translates into the development of a very wide range of technologies, many being centralised, and the use of global energy trade as a tool to accelerate decarbonisation.

Scenario features

Features of the two scenarios are as follows.

Distributed energy scenario:

● The transition is initiated on local/national levels and aims for EU energy independence and strategic independence through maximisation of renewable energies and smart sector integration.
● Energy demand is reduced through circularity and better energy consumption behaviour and digitalisation is driven by prosumer and variable renewable energy management.
● There is a focus on decentralised technologies, i.e. PV, batteries, etc., and smart charging and on electric heat pumps and district heating. There is a higher share of electric vehicles, with e-liquids and biofuels supplementing for heavy transport, but minimal carbon capture and storage and nuclear.

Global ambition scenario:

● The transition is initiated on a European/international level with high EU renewable energy development supplemented with low carbon energy and diversified imports.
● Energy demand is reduced with priority given to decarbonisation and diversification of energy supply and digitalisation and automation reinforce the competitiveness of EU business.
● There is a focus on large scale technologies, i.e. offshore wind, utility storage, etc., and on a wide range of heating technologies, e. g. hybrid heating technology. There is a wide range of technologies and energy carriers across mobility sectors, viz electricity, hydrogen, e-liquids and biofuels, and the integration of nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

With this storyline report along with accompanying data published as a first deliverable in the formal process for TYNDP 2024 scenario building, feedback is now sought until 8 August 2023.

Taking into account the feedback, the draft TYNDP 2024 scenario report is expected to be published for consultation in late 2023 and finalised in 2024.

NREL outlines US-wide electric vehicle charging network requirements https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/electric-vehicles/nrel-outlines-us-wide-electric-vehicle-charging-network-requirements/ Thu, 06 Jul 2023 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.power-grid.com/?p=104089 A new report by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is intended to serve as a strategic framework for the development of nationwide electric vehicle charging infrastructure designed to meet the needs of an anticipated 30–42 million light-duty EVs by 2030.

The framework outlined in the report aligns with goals set by the Biden-Harris administration, the automotive industry, and the United Auto Workers for zero-emission vehicles to comprise the majority of new car sales by 2030. It also coalesces with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s (Joint Office’s) vision of a reliable, and equitable charging network for all Americans.

The report, titled The 2030 National Charging Network: Estimating U.S. Light-Duty Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, details NREL’s quantitative analysis estimating the number, type and location of chargers needed to power a growing number of light-duty EVs nationwide. It also includes a new level of detail in a nationwide EV charging infrastructure analysis.

The study accounts for region-specific variables, such as weather, travel behavior, housing type, and demographics, as well as types of travel, such as commuting, running errands, ride-hailing, and long-distance road trips—all of which can affect charging demand. The study utilizes the most sophisticated and comprehensive suite of analytical tools available, built on years of studying EV charging and powered by NREL’s analytical capabilities.

Have you read:
Gaps in EV codes tied to cybersecurity and grid interface issues
EVs + AI = A Grid Revolution

Key report findings

Convenient and affordable charging at and near home must be complemented by reliable public fast charging to enable long-distance travel, mobility and ride-hailing services, and charging for those without residential access, the report states.

A successful charging ecosystem provides the right balance of charging types and locations: NREL’s analysis finds that a national network in 2030 could require approximately 1.2 million publicly accessible charging ports and an additional 26.8 million privately accessible charging ports.

Those 1.2 million public charging ports would be comprised of 182,000 publicly accessible fast charging ports, and 1 million Level 2 charging ports at publicly accessible locations such as high-density neighborhoods, office buildings, and retail outlets.

EV sales have tripled since 2021, and the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by more than 40%. U.S. sales of plug-in EVs have reached about 3.4 million since 2010, and more than 135,000 public chargers currently exist across the country.

The Joint Office and the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office supported NREL’s multi-faceted analysis.

Originally published by Sean Wolfe on Power-Grid International

The hidden threat to power quality on the electric grid https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/energy-grid-management/the-hidden-threat-to-power-quality-on-the-electric-grid/ Tue, 04 Jul 2023 10:03:09 +0000 https://www.smart-energy.com/?p=141556 It has been widely reported that unregulated electric vehicle (EV) charging could overtax or destabilise power grids yet there has been less discussion of the potentially disruptive impact on power quality. While electrification of transport will deliver many environmental benefits, we must consider and manage the full impact of this change.

By Amir Cohen

Without strict oversight and regulation, the fast chargers now connecting to the grid could cause harmonic distortion where they emit high-frequency waves that disrupt the normal ebb and flow of current across the grid. Simultaneous surges in demand from many fast chargers can have a major impact on power quality, potentially damaging the grid and many electrical appliances from motors to medical and industrial equipment. Fast chargers could also affect power quality by causing wildly fluctuating voltage levels and loads on the grid as demand swells and sags.

The problem is compounded by the fact that utilities have very limited visibility of the distribution grids where these disruptions originate. As EV chargers and other devices such as heat pumps have an increasing ripple effect across the wider grid, utilities need to expand grid monitoring, analytics and control to encompass distribution networks.

Silent source of contamination on the grid

Europe is projected to be the global leader in EV adoption and last year saw a 54% increase in public charging infrastructure including a 90% increase in bigger, faster direct current (DC) chargers. This rapid proliferation of ‘non-linear loads’ that draw in current in rapid pulses will exacerbate ‘harmonic distortion’ where devices emit high-frequency signals that disrupt the normal smooth cyclical waves of alternating current (AC) across power grids. This effectively pollutes the power supply that utilities send to homes and business, potentially breaching standards such as Europe’s EN50160 governing the acceptable consistency, reliability, and stability of electrical power.

Abundant research has shown that EV fast chargers can contribute to power quality problems unless they are regulated effectively. Because they are closely clustered in places such as service stations, fast chargers could create major hotspots of ‘harmonic pollution’ during periods of peak demand, degrading power quality and damaging nearby distribution networks or electrical devices.

Have you read:
Energy sharing pilot project evaluates impact on the grid
Finland’s Caruna pilots smart grid technologies

Harmonic pollution in power systems caused by EV charging could strain or damage electrical equipment, triggering excessive vibrations and torque pulses in motors or misfiring of the variable-speed drives that set machinery speeds. Harmonic pollution can even cause power loss across distribution grids by overstretching power transformers or damaging power factor capacitors and protection relays. Poor power quality can lead to equipment malfunction, data loss, reduced efficiency, and increased downtime across many other critical electrical and electronic devices from industrial machinery to medical equipment.

Rapidly fluctuating charging and discharging also causes rises and drops in voltage across distribution grids which can further reduce power quality, affecting electrical equipment lifecycles and even causing safety hazards. Sudden blips in usage of large-capacity devices such as fast chargers can also unbalance loads on the grid which strain transformers, stress power lines and create network inefficiencies. Utilities will need to respond by curtailing EV charging or encouraging flexible off-peak charging, which will require real-time visibility of the factors affecting power quality across grids.

Network blind spots

The decarbonisation and electrification of the economy will see a proliferation of appliances from electric vehicles to heat pumps with new and different load profiles or patterns of electricity use. Distribution grids were not originally designed for these devices and unregulated or unmonitored usage could have unintended consequences for the power quality on which we all depend.

Sensor installation. Image courtesy EGM.

This creates an urgent imperative to monitor and manage power quality at the edge of grids, bringing transparency to distribution networks. Yet utilities currently have little to no grid monitoring capability on distribution lines and therefore many have limited visibility beyond their substations. Operators often only have limited oversight of primary circuits using old-fashioned SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, and even less visibility of secondary circuits.

While Phaser Measurement Unit sensors are widely used to measure power performance on transmission grids, there are few if any of these on distribution networks. Advanced smart grid monitoring systems are rarely used on distribution lines. As a result, most operators only become aware of disruptions to power quality such as harmonic distortion after customer complaints. Yet we need to be on the front foot as we transition to a world where electrification is at the core of transport and the wider economy.

Bringing transparency to distribution grids

Pioneering utilities across the Middle East, US and Europe are now piloting ‘multi-sensing’ grid monitoring systems that track waves of current and voltage in real-time to spot any deviations from power quality limits. These technologies pinpoint the time and location of voltage fluctuations or harmonic distortions, identify causes, and even recommend remedial action. By identifying the site and source of problems, they could help utilities pre-emptively regulate fast charging or other devices such as heat pumps to prevent power quality issues before they arise. Future systems being developed by EU Joint Research Centre scientists will even allow grids to communicate directly with EV chargers in real-time. This could be combined with time-stamped, location-based data from grid monitoring systems to pre-emptively notify individual chargers if they are about to breach power quality standards.

Multi-sensing grid monitoring systems on distribution networks could have many other benefits for utilities too. Richer data from distribution lines could create heatmaps of common problems such as locations and causes of the worst harmonic pollution, creating smarter grids and fueling Artificial Intelligence-driven solutions. Advanced grid monitoring systems can also accurately detect the location of network faults or hazards, helping predict and prevent external risks to power quality from transient disturbances such as vegetation encroachment. These systems can monitor and analyze over 60 parameters from temperature to voltage to detect any potential factors affecting power quality from excessive demand to transient disturbances such as foreign objects touching the line. Rich, real-time data on loads across distribution grids could also give operators the opportunity to balance loads between parallel feeder lines to enhance grid reliability and flexibility.

A new approach

The electrification of transport and industry will see the electric grid becoming a single point of failure across the economy so that disruption to power quality will have wider ripple effects than before. And as distribution grids intersect with millions of new appliances from EV chargers to heat pumps, this will drive an exponential increase in harmonic pollution and other potential power quality issues further upstream. As disruptions originating downstream spill over into wider networks, this means that distribution grids must be seen as fundamental to the performance of the entire grid.

This will require a new approach where distribution grids are monitored and managed as intensively as transmission networks. Network operators will need the ability to monitor and mitigate everything from harmonic distortions to voltage variations at source and in real-time to contain any outbreaks. Ultimately, transmission and distribution grids will need to be monitored and managed as a single ecosystem where what happens in one part matters everywhere else. This will help smooth the path to a green economy powered by clean electricity.


Amir Cohen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Electrical Grid Monitoring (EGM), a California-based electrical equipment manufacturer.