Vehicle-to-Grid And Vehicle-To-Home Tech Ready For Prime Time

The Chinese have envisioned using hundreds of thousands of idle electric vehicles as a massive battery to meet peak electric demand in Beijing, allowing them to shutter dirty old coal plants and defer new ones.
But Vehicle-To-Grid technology may be tested first in the United States—and soon.
"There’s a very interesting technological portfolio here that hasn’t been fully explored yet, but we do see that that will change over the next five to 12 months or more," said Ken Boyce, a principle engineer manager and corporate fellow for UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which develops performance and safety standards for electric technologies.
"We’ll see how the market accepts it."
China might have more luck marshaling individual motorists to allow a utility to control their car battery, but the United States could soon have massive distributed batteries of its own.
"It’s really a very compelling technology, especially when you think about fleets," Boyce told about 30 people last week at the German-American Chamber of Commerce's Smart Grid Symposium in Chicago.
"Think of school buses, electric schoollbuses. They’re very busy at certain times of the day, they’re very busy at certain times of the year, but other than that, that’s a huge virtual energy storage plant. Think about how you can leverage that technology. It could be fleet of trucks, it could be a fleet of military vehicles, a fleet of consumer vehicles, passenger vehicles."
In the United States, fleets may present the most compelling argument for Vehicle-to-Grid technology, Boyce said, but individual automobiles may be equally useful to the individual homeowner.
"Even on an individual level, people can use it when they lose power," he said.
In April, China's Energy Research Institute released a study that posited the Chinese could cut greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent by mid-Century and derive 85 percent of electricity from renewables if they rely on vehicle-to-grid technology to balance the variability of renewable sources like solar and wind.
“The biggest challenge for renewable energy development is not economic issues, it is technical issues. Variability. Variability is the biggest issue for us,” said Wang Zhongying, deputy director general of China's Energy Research Institute.
"In the future we think the electricity vehicle could be the big contribution for power systems’ stability, reliability."

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