How V2G could stabilise the grid

Ernesto Ciorra is one of the speakers at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin from May 8 to 12.

Ernesto Ciorra is one of the speakers at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin from May 8 to 12.

By Jason Deign

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) storage may be all that grids need for stability as renewables increase, according to a speaker at the upcoming Energy Storage World Forum, on May 8 to 12.

“With V2G technology we can provide grid stabilisation services without any need for additional storage reserves, but by simply aggregating electric vehicle batteries,” said Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s head of innovation and sustainability.

“With the current technology that we are already improving, for a country like Denmark to provide stabilisation services we need about 40 electric vehicles, while in Germany and UK the minimum number is about 100.”

Ciorra told Energy Storage Report that if all the 18,000 Nissan electric vehicles in the UK were connected to the electricity network, they would generate an output equivalent to that of a 180MW power plant.

“If that were to be scaled up in a future where all vehicles on UK roads were electric, V2G technology could generate a virtual power plant of up to 370GW,” he said. 
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Why storage business cases depend on weather

Dr Björn Peters will be speaking at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin this year. Pic: Energy Storage World Forum.

Dr Björn Peters will be speaking at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin this year. Pic: Energy Storage World Forum.

By Jason Deign

The case for implementing storage in electricity networks should be based on long-term weather analyses, attendees at the Energy Storage World Forum will hear.

Including weather patterns as one of the main variables in a business case analysis will help show niches where storage “makes a lot of sense,” said Dr Björn Peters, who will be speaking on the topic at the Forum in Berlin this May.

For off-grid mining operations in hot climates, for example, “there might be a very good business case for solar storage” compared to diesel.

Within grids, meanwhile, storage can offer value in helping to balance out short-term fluctuations in intermittent renewable energy.

However, Peters’ research is worrying for policy makers who hope to rely completely on intermittent renewable energy generation to reach European carbon reduction targets. 
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The utility response to grid defection

Utility responses to grid defection will be one of the many topics being discussed at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin this May. Pic: Energy Storage World Forum.

Utility responses to grid defection will be one of the many topics being discussed at the Energy Storage World Forum in Berlin this May. Pic: Energy Storage World Forum.

By Mike Stone

Utilities are seeking new ways to respond to grid defection as the economics of solar-plus-storage make it easier for homeowners to disconnect.

A report called The Economics of Grid Defection, by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), concludes that in territories such as Hawaii off-grid solar plus storage is already economically competitive with remaining on the electricity network.

Tens of millions of customers will defect in other areas such as California and New York as solar plus storage achieves grid parity by 2030, and possibly even 2020, the RMI predicts.

And grid defection is by no means a US-only phenomenon.

In many parts of Australia and Germany, for example, the business case for residential PV and storage is still far from convincing, but that has not stopped homeowners from installing systems for a whole host of other reasons. 
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How can customers trade energy with batteries?

Reposit Power, with its solar battery storage trading and control platform, is one of the companies helping residents in Australia make money by selling stored energy to the grid. Photo credit: Australian Government

Reposit Power, with its solar battery storage trading and control platform, is one of the companies helping residents in Australia sell their stored energy to the grid. Photo credit: Australian Government

By Dr Geoff James
Previously published on www.energystorageforum.com and republished with permission.

When people buy batteries for their homes, they mainly expect to have more energy independence.

But a sophisticated battery system can do more than providing secure backup power or soaking up the output of rooftop PV panels, as a rain tank catches rain.

Considering the whole electricity system, batteries can also resolve the variability of solar and wind energy, paving the way towards a cleaner, greener grid.

This is called ‘balancing the grid’ and batteries are excellent at short-term balancing over seconds, minutes and hours. The best part? There is money to be made from it.
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Grid-scale storage: steady growth, not boom and bust

There is a growing market for grid-scale energy storage projects, such as the 200MW of Alevo battery technology that will soon be used for US grid frequency regulation.

In a growing market for grid-scale energy storage projects, 200MW of Alevo battery technology will soon be used for US grid frequency regulation. Photo credit: Alevo Group

Fears over energy storage hype resulting in a boom-and-bust cycle appear unfounded on the basis of grid-scale deployments so far, a top analyst has confirmed.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance associate Logan Goldie-Scot, who will be speaking at the Energy Storage World Forum next month, told Energy Storage Report: “We see continued steady progress instead of a huge leap in 2015.

“We certainly think the market is growing. But I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to see a huge leap in capacity on the ground, just because we already have visibility of much of 2015.”

The prediction is a welcome one for a sector that has long been considered prone to hype, with reports frequently citing an upcoming boom. And in fact, said Goldie-Scot: “There has been quite a lot of progress since last year.

“Especially in North America, we’re now seeing projects getting commissioned and working their way through the development process.”
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Could microgrids save lives on remote islands?

Island energy storage: could islanded microgrid systems have helped in the Vanuatu cyclone Pam disaster?

Island energy storage: could islanded microgrid systems have helped in the Vanuatu cyclone Pam disaster? Photo credit: UNICEF Pacific

Upcoming debate on energy storage in microgrids was given a sense of urgency over the weekend as Cyclone Pam tore across Vanuatu in the Pacific.

As the devastated island nation issued a plea for international help, one of the questions facing the government and aid workers was how to restore power… and whether current fossil-fuelled generation sources should be replaced by renewable energy.

Like many island nations, Vanuatu has traditionally got most of its power from imported fossil fuels.

In 2010, for example, the nation’s main utility, the GDF Suez subsidiary Union Electrique du Vanuatu Limited (UNELCO), generated 68.7GWh of power using 14.3 megalitres of imported diesel along with 251 kilolitres of biofuel from coconut oil.

This reliance on imported fuel was already creating problems for the country before this weekend’s catastrophe. “The Government has been concerned for a number of years over the high cost of electricity,” noted the International Renewable Energy Agency.
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