The development of new transportation technologies such as all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which both use a battery for propulsive purposes, are seen as key players to the U.S. energy independence and the drastic reduction of the effects of global warming. It is expected in the next couple of years for a massive deployment of battery-powered vehicles into the U.S. transportation sector, however, some questions and doubts have been raised about the effects of full integration of battery-powered vehicles (BVs) into the national grid. Guille et al. evaluate the concept of a network of aggregated BVs in providing and storing energy for a more efficient and reliable grid. The concept of using BVs as a load and generation/storage device on the national grid is known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G). Under this proposed concept, BVs play an important role in improving the reliability, economics and environmental benefits of daily grid operations. Unfortunately, the V2G concept is still in the developmental stages and requires a solid framework to overcome some issues before a nation-wide implementation is carried out.— Blake Kos
Guille, C., Gross, G., 2009. A conceptual framework for the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) implementation. Energy Policy 37, 4379–4390.
Guille and Gross at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign assess a proposed framework for the implementation of the vehicle-to-grid concept. This concept, which incorporates battery-powered vehicles, is viewed as a direct approach to addressing the issues of U.S. energy independence and the effects of global warming.
A U.S. solution to the concerns of energy independence and the reduction in the effects of global warming is the deployment of BVs. Battery-powered vehicles are able to take advantage of clean, alternative sources of energy and reduce regional emissions by using electricity instead of fossil fuels. Because the average U.S. driver commutes about 32 miles a day, not all the energy stored in the battery is exhausted. Therefore, each BV is considered a potential source of both energy and available storage, which can be controlled by the current national grid without new power plant installations (i.e. coal-fired power plants). Once the BV is plugged into the grid, the batteries may be used as an energy resource. However, in order for the BVs to be a useful resource a large quantity of BVs (thousands to hundreds of thousands) would be needed to have an impact on the grid. The key enabler to realizing the V2G concept is the Aggregator that controls and retains BVs connected to the grid. The aggregation of BVs controlled by the Aggregator allows for the exploitation of possible economic benefits such as purchasing and selling electricity to and from the grid. Also, the Aggregators can work in conjunction with grid operators to use BVs as a useful sink for load levelization during off-peak hours thus reducing energy and reserve requirements. However, the implementation of this proposed concept poses one critical prerequisite: the establishment of the infrastructural computer/communication/control network for the integration of the aggregation of BVs into the grid (4390). Regulators must understand the potential impacts of BV integration on the national grid and formulate effective policies (i.e. package deal) to pass this costly but critical requirement.