How real time energy prices could boost local storage


Harm Weken, Managing Partner

Flip Oude Weernink, Manager New Mobility


With investments in renewables and electric mobility increasing, the need for storage capacity grows. Smart charging, local storage of renewables and shared e-mobility could balance supply and demand. A consortium supported by FIER Automotive wants to proof that this mix of technologies will be feasible, partly on the basis of real time energy prices.


The experiment of the consortium brings together two important developments. First, the EU wants to reduce CO2 emissions with 20-40 percent in the period 2020-2030. Renewable energy will have to make a major contribution to this. Europa wants to increase the sustainable energy production with 20-27 percent. And with the sustainable energy supply growing, which causes destabilising power peaks in the grid, the need for storage increases.


Second, in Europa a fleet of shared electric cars is growing rapidly due to the introduction of new mobility concepts such as ‘Mobility as a Service’ (Maas). The batteries of these cars could be used as local storage facilities.


FIER Automotive supports the consortium behind the project with the business planning and business case development, which exists among others out of a charging station manufacturer, a grid operator, an electric vehicle sharing platform and a solar panels project agency.


Optimize the business case for shared electric mobility

For the experiment the consortium plans to install in five to seven local testing environments at least 30 photovoltaics (PV’s) or solar panels in combination with a quick charger, local storage systems and 14 shared e-cars.


Renewable energy sources lead to a continues fluctuation of energy supply and prices on the energy market APX. The project aims to use this fluctuation to optimise the business case for the shared electric cars. To achieve this, the smart charging stations have their own stationary storage.


The extra battery of the charging station, in addition to the car battery, creates a storage system with a total capacity of 60-100 kWh.  Such a system could store locally generated energy and further optimize the business case by delivering energy when APX spot prices are high. As a result, storage will always be both as efficient and economical as possible. This will allow operators of shared e-cars  to adopt storing and delivering energy as a business case and make operating the shared electric vehicles at least cost neutral in the beginning. This reduces the upfront investments needed to install the system.


In the project we also want to optimize the utilization of the shared electric vehicles with short turn-around times, made possible with the installed quick charger. This will allow us to prove how the sustainability of shared mobility can be maximized.


Vision of future mobility

To use the capacity of the batteries of electric cars as efficient as possible, an integrated platform and app is being operated during the experiment. The platform allows users to book an e-car when they need it, indicate the length of the trip and open and close the car with a digital key.


By combining different technologies and implementing them in a real environment, the consortium wants not only to test the vision of future mobility. The parties involved also aim to validate the protocols that connect the different systems, technologies and techniques used in the project. In addition, government regulation is reviewed and the impact on the power grid monitored.


The consortium partners expect the project will solve more problems than just the two mentioned at the start of this blog. For example, the scalable business case of the concept and its competitive TCO could bring electric mobility within the reach of small and medium -sized companies (SMEs) and private users. Next step would be, companies, utilities and private-public institutes such as hospitals and social housing agencies adopting the concept as an important source of renewable energy and income.


But of course for now, with the experiment still in the making and first results only expected by late 2018, this all remains yet to be seen.


For more information, please send us an email and we will send you  our paper ‘How local storage of renewables accelerates e-car sharing utilization and market adoption’, presented during the EVS30 Symposium from 9 until 11 October 2017 in Stuttgart. Or contact our experts Harm Weken and Flip Oude Weernink.


Photo: Pixabay