Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Electric vehicles and storage of renewable electricity
Letter sent to The Times:
Your correspondent Ian Templeton asks ("Turning electric dreams into motoring reality," Times letters, July 8; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/turning-electric-dreams-into-motoring-reality-52g7grjzn) asks 'why does no one seem to be asking how the huge increase in the demand for electricity is to be met' as electric car use expands?
They have. A month ago at the Chatham House think tank in London I listened to American energy guru Amory Lovins, director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, which specialises in energy research, explain how electric car expansion can act as a national storage system for renewable electricity.
This is surely the most radical implication of electric cars.
Lovins convincingly argued that many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a fewpercent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests.
He stressed that Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with "astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation" by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving
renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding
distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response.
This way the future surely lies.