The world is rapidly moving toward decarbonization with renewable energy sources. While the significant reduction in carbon footprints is a welcome front in the war on climate change, the impact is rippling through other industries.
One component is the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), which continue the decarbonization effort by transforming the automobile industry. The charging requirements of EVs are straining traditional power grids and creating a substantial upward shift in energy demand, straining the same grid system undergoing its growing pains.
As grid capacity challenges are addressed with increasing renewable capacity and efficiency, EVs can become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. This opportunity utilizes the scale made available by EVs to contribute to the suite of solutions required to balance and manage the grid, extending their reach and importance.
The need to balance renewable energy load requirements while quickly and safely charging EVs is forcing energy business models to change. It’s also empowering a convergence of technologies to create innovative solutions.
Vehicle to Grid & Smart Technology
Large amounts of renewable energy sources create a challenge for grid management due to the intermittency of solar and wind power and the need for storage.
Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is a two-way charging solution that allows autos to act as backup storage for energy. Utilizing smart technology, V2G creates a unique solution whereby the millions of EVs in current and future services can operate as mobile storage devices.
EV owners set the amount of charge and communicate via an app or charging station. The car maintains this charge amount, but in peak usage (when the grid needs more power), connected and charging EVs can provide backup power for defined functionality on the grid.
This backup functionality may be as simple as diverting power to garage lights or air systems. It can help balance loads during peak times, and EVs are never discharged below the set charge that users need. The two-way exchange vastly increases the efficiency of the grid to negate the challenges of renewables.
Vehicle to Everything
As renewable energy and EVs work to create more efficient energy distribution, another technology linking automobiles is set to create disruptive innovations. Vehicle to Everything (V2X) takes advantage of the proliferation of smart technology on current cars, including EVs, to utilize growing 5G and mobile networks for more efficient driving and awareness.
V2X is a logical outgrowth of Internet of Things (IoT) technology that connects vehicles and networks to impact traffic and routing information. Working as both a device-to-device and a device-to-network tool, two-way communication creates an ad-hoc network.
Autos can connect to smart city infrastructure, other vehicles, and the cloud for real-time traffic data and autonomous routing. V2X extends a driver's "viewpoint" beyond the line of sight and fosters more efficient driving that could even be used to reduce traffic congestion.
Keeping Up With Innovation Trends
V2G and V2X combine with existing smart technology and IoT to create unique and highly innovative solutions. These technologies will create opportunities for entrepreneurs to participate in the emerging ecosystem and contribute to the next generation of innovation.
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College is poised to help new business leaders and entrepreneurs gain the skills and connections needed to navigate this fast-paced environment.
By remaining on the cutting edge of emerging technologies, HBEC empowers program participants to keep pace with the changes and push their idea into the fast lane with mentorship, access to funding, training, and more. Contact us to learn how we can help.