Energy Insights Says PHEVs Have Great Potential in the Future by 8869Er

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									   Energy Insights Says PHEVs Have Great Potential in the Future Evolution of Intelligent
                                          Grids in Europe
MILAN, Italy and FRAMINGHAM, Mass -- Energy Insights recently released a new report,
which examines how automakers, battery developers, utilities, and policy makers are approaching
the possibilities of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), as well as the technical challenges
that must be overcome to achieve widespread commercialization. It also explores the benefits
PHEVs could offer utilities in terms of increased off-peak power sales and the potential to tap the
energy stored in PHEV batteries for ancillary services or demand response.
      "PHEVs have great potential in the future evolution of intelligent grids. They can offer
utilities benefits in terms of increased off-peak power sales and the potential to tap the energy
stored in PHEV batteries for ancillary services or demand response," said Roberta Bigliani,
research director, Energy Insights EMEA. "Their significant market penetration likely remains 10
years away. Nevertheless, utilities and carmakers should speed-up pilots and begin to rethink the
grid and the requirements for handling distributed sources and two-way power flows."
      The study highlights that, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer both an opportunity
and a challenge to the electric power system. PHEVs, which are similar to today's hybrid cars but
include large batteries that can be charged directly from an electrical outlet, could be an attractive
new source of revenue for utilities, particularly if the batteries are recharged during off-peak
periods. Thanks to that onboard battery capacity, PHEVs conceivably could also provide that holy
grail of the electric power system: significant energy storage. They could power the electrical grid
in times of high demand or, more likely, could function as reserves or other ancillary services - a
concept commonly referred to as vehicle to grid (V2G).
      This opportunity, however, also comes with challenges, as it raises issues of interconnection
and feeding power back onto the distribution grid from dispersed locations. This report's principal
findings on PHEVs include the following:
      PHEVs are already available as expensive, custom conversions but are unlikely to enter
widespread commercialization for 10 or more years. The foremost obstacle to their successful
commercialization is the cost and performance of the large battery storage systems needed for
sufficient vehicle range.
      Should PHEVs be deployed on a broad scale for V2G applications, the impact on the electric
power system (particularly the distribution system) would be tremendous. The industry would
have to learn how to manage large numbers of distributed energy storage devices and two-way
power flows.
      Energy Insights expects that PHEVs will become commercially available on a widespread
basis around 2017 at the earliest. The bottom line is that, despite the efforts of numerous groups
working to develop safe, durable, and reasonably priced batteries, there is no commercially viable
PHEV battery ready to go to market. Despite this, the possible impact of PHEVs on the electricity
sector - and beyond - is well worth monitoring. Utilities should consider following the lead of
those companies which have initiated research projects to explore the potential of PHEVs as an
off-peak consumer of energy and for V2G applications.
      And in terms of rethinking the grid, it's not too early for distribution system owners to begin
to do so. Given various trends, including growth in distributed photovoltaic markets, demand
response opportunities, and the potential for other distributed energy and storage technologies to
interconnect with the grid in the next decade and beyond, planners should begin sooner, rather
than later, to start building the distribution system of the future.

								
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