Electric cars: Ofgem foresees an easier way for drivers to sell energy back to the grid | Ofgem


Ofgem plans to make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to sell the energy stored in their cars’ batteries back to the power grid as part of an initiative to make the move away from fossil-fueled cars more affordable.

Under the plan proposed by the UK energy regulator, electric vehicle drivers could earn money by efficiently turning their cars into mobile power plants by releasing energy to the energy grid when demand hits the market. power grid peaked.

If enough drivers seize the opportunity to make money from their car batteries using vehicle-to-grid technology, the UK could avoid investing in new power plants with the equivalent generation capacity of up to to 10 large nuclear power plants.

It could help lower energy bills, even for UK households that don’t own an electric vehicle, according to Ofgem.

The number of electric vehicles on UK roads is expected to reach around 14 million by 2030, which will require billions of investments to modernize the electricity grid, but Ofgem hopes that by changing its grid rules it can unlock big savings for the energy system and consumer bills. . There were around 535,000 electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, on UK roads at the end of May 2021.

The British regulator plans to make it cheaper to connect charging stations to the electricity grid, which should allow more drivers to have access to charging stations where they need them.

Ofgem will also encourage the charging of ‘smart’ cars to make better use of electricity when demand is low and electricity is cheap before feeding the cheap energy back into the grid using vehicle-to-grid technology when demand. increases.

Neil Kenward, director of Ofgem, said the regulator would take a “three-pronged approach” by increasing the use of electric vehicles, the charging of “smart” cars and vehicle-to-grid technology “which together can help to cut costs for all UK bill payers ”.

He said: “Electric vehicles will revolutionize the way we use energy and provide consumers with new opportunities, through smart products, to enter the energy market to keep their costs as low as possible. . ”

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Graeme Cooper, head of future markets at National Grid, said Ofgem’s smart charging plan was “an important step” towards limiting the impact of the switch to electric vehicles on household bills.

“There will be an increase in energy demand, so we have to make sure that we are future-proof, placing the right wires in the right places for future demand,” he said.

“Smart charging essentially allows your car to ‘talk’ to the grid, using data to gauge the best time to charge your car,” Cooper added. “It’s a cheaper, more energy efficient and more sustainable way to charge electric vehicles. “

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