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Inside the Government’s plan to transform our energy system – all things V2G, battery storage and smart

Posted by Shanics Olton on 27 July 2017 at 5:03 pm

Will we really become a nation of clean energy creators sooner than we think? Some critics say we’ve been lagging behind the likes of Sweden and Denmark for far too long but the Government’s latest report sets out a plan to change this and make us leaders in the field of innovative energy technologies.

The 32 page plan aims to transform our outdated fossil fuel intensive energy system into one which is smart, flexible and energy efficient. So what does this mean for you? Well, the plan is being championed as a move towards keeping your household electricity bills low by reducing energy costs. The current roll out of smart meters in every home by 2020 provides a vital tool towards saving on energy bills. Smart metres can show you how much energy you’re using in real time and how much it’s costing, allowing you to track your usage and help bring down costs. There will also be more periods of off peak electricity and standards for white goods to improve their efficiency by becoming smarter and respond when electricity is at its cheapest.

If you’re one of the 700,000 home owners with a solar PV system, the plan seeks to make it easier for you to store any excess energy generated in batteries with the potential to earn additional income by selling it back to the grid. Batteries can be expensive and if you’re exploring the potential of purchasing one, our blog from Sungift Solar is perfect for you; however future costs are expected to fall following an announcement in the plan of a favourable £264m investment in the technology.

V2G (vehicle to grid) is another strategy mentioned in the plan which would see the use of batteries in electric vehicles also being used as storage points to export electricity back to the grid during periods of high demand. Nissan is currently piloting a V2G trial with 100 drivers of their Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric van here in the UK. In their press release revealing the trial, Nissan predicted that if all the vehicles on UK roads were electric, vehicle-to-grid technology could generate a virtual power plant of up to 370 GW – enough energy to power the UK, Germany and France. Following the Government’s latest announcement to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, could this become a reality? If you’re wondering whether V2G would eventually reduce the vehicle’s battery life, results of a recent study from the University of Warwick has made it all the more attractive with findings to show that battery life is improved when V2G is used.

The Government has faced criticisms as their bid to ban new gas guzzling (not hybrid) cars in the new car sales market has been delayed until 2040 with leaders of major cities arguing that the proposals do not go far enough to tackle the current worryingly illegal levels of pollution coming from our major cities. On the flip side, the ban along with the Government’s plans for V2G could open up potential for this new form of energy supply to become a major future donor to the grid but it may be a very long wait.
 

Sources

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2017/07/upgrading_our_energy_system_-_smart_systems_and_flexibility_plan.pdf

https://www.cleanenergynews.co.uk/news/storage/v2g-found-to-improve-the-lifetime-of-electric-vehicle-batteries

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40704036

http://newsroom.nissan-europe.com/uk/en-gb/media/pressreleases/145248

Image credit: Edinburgh Greens. 
 

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About the author:

Shanics is a summer intern at the National Energy Foundation and is part way through a Corporate Social Responsibility and International Business Masters.

 She is interested in all areas of sustainability. 

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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