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Foto cortesía de/Photo courtesy of: Toyota

At Digital Solar & Storage 2019, SolarPower Europe launched a new report on solar mobility, thought to be the first of its kind, which explores the potential of clean mobility solutions and solar power. The report documents various solar mobility business models, illustrating the experience of European and global pioneers with detailed case studies. Three solar mobility models are highlighted: (1) solar-powered mobility, (2) solar smart charging, and (3) vehicle-integrated PV, all of which can lead to vast carbon reductions in the transport sector.

Decarbonising the transport sector, responsible for one quarter of European CO2 emissions, is a crucial step in achieving the European Union’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Electrification, direct and indirect, appears clearly as the fastest and most cost-efficient technological solution to decarbonise transport. EV battery costs have achieved important cost reduction in the past years, with prices decreasing by 85% between 2010 and 2018, allowing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of small and medium electric vehicles to be the same as conventional vehicles by 2024. Technology improvements and investments in fuel cells and electrolysis technologies have enabled a reduction in vehicle and fuel costs that could support the future cost-competitiveness of indirect electrification for certain segments of transport.

The electrification of transport makes even more sense when done in parallel with the deployment of renewables in the EU electricity mix. Without significant additons of renewable capacities in Europe, the full potential of electrification to reduce CO2 emissions in transport cannot be harvested. A study from the Paul Scherrer Institute shows that electric vehicles charging on fossil fuel-based electricity (e.g gas or coal) do not lead to an optimum reduction in CO2 emissions compared with conventional gasoline and diesel cars, while the CO2 emissions decrease by 50% with electric vehicles driving on CO2 -free electricity. The electrification of transport must therefore be thought of in synergy with the deployment of renewables in the power mix.

Solar energy is the ideal candidate to fuel green, electric mobility. As an illustration, in light road transport only, a typical rooftop, 5-kW PV module can easily produce the daily amount of electricity needed for the average commute of an electric vehicle, even though the adequacy of the PV system will depend on its geographical location and on time variations, including seasonal.

Solar energy is also a cost-competitive fuel for transport. It has achieved important cost reductions in the past years. The LCOE has reached €0.04/kWh worldwide and keeps decreasing, as a result of decreasing manufacturing costs and increasing cell performance. The deployment of solar can therefore support a cost-efficient energy transition with limited public support. Furthermore, in many countries, direct sourcing of solar energy is already cheaper than grid electricity.

Solar installations are modular and can adapt perfectly to the energy needs of the end-consumer or various means of transportation. Small solar installations can therefore fit well in urban landscapes, on rooftops, parking lots, rail infrastructure, etc. and can be installed as close as possible to the consumption point, be it a charging point or a refuelling station, thereby reducing reliance on the power grid.

Looking at the physics, solar is complementary to electric mobility, particularly in certain use cases like day charging at work places or combined with battery capacity at home. Solar has a predictable generation curve and produces electricity during the day. This PV generation curve matches well with the time at which the majority of electric vehicles are parked and can be charged, for instance at workplaces or public parking – a match that can be optimised with smart charging devices. Solar generation also matches perfectly the load curve of trains, trams or metros that run and consume energy during the day, making them good candidates for solar consumption.

Finally, recent surveys show that solar is the most popular source of energy and can support the public acceptance for sustainable transport policies. In Europe, solar has the highest level of support among citizens. Solar empowers consumers to invest into their own energy transition and gives them a sense of independence. As a result, one can easily observe the mutually reinforced dynamic between solar energy and electromobility: a recent survey by EuPD Research on electric-mobility has shown that for 77% of the respondents, the main reason to purchase an electric car was to charge it using their own solar energy, making it the most important motivator for purchase.

The synergies between solar and clean mobility can unlock significant benefits to accelerate the European energy and transport transition. The solar industry must therefore be imaginative and forward-looking to exploit these synergies and offer solutions to consumers that wish to drive on solar energy.

The benefits of solar mobility are vast, and include significant improvements in air quality for European citizens, as well as the reduction of noise pollution. Smart mobility strategies that rely on the increasing deployment of solar energy can lead to a more affordable and reliable solar electricity supply. This has the effect of optimising grid integration of future vehicles, unlocking new flexibility sources, and ultimately creating new business models for solar prosumers, EV owners, and charging station operators. Further, solar mobility and all of its related technologies can help Europe lead the global energy transition.

This aim of the report – the first of its kind developed by SolarPower Europe’s Solar Mobility Taskforce – is to look at existing and promising business cases of solar mobility and draw a first benchmark of renewable mobility models. It features existing case studies and pioneering projects.

Source: SolarPower Europe

ABB has won a contract from ST Engineering Land Systems Ltd. to deliver and com-mission integrated smart charging points for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) in the new Tuas port of Singapore. Deliveries of the vehicles, which will be deployed to transport heavy shipping containers at the port terminal, are scheduled to begin from September 2020 through to August 2022, with the ABB chargers and supporting infra-structure set to be installed towards the end of 2020.

The contract includes 450 kW High Power Chargers, design and supply of charge point prefabricated skid and container solutions with integrated chargers, medium- and low- voltage switchgear, transformers and associated control and monitoring equipment. This integrated solution enables fast installation on site, ensures the highest levels of operability and mitigates risk.

The future port is a major milestone in Singapore’s next generation container terminal development with an annual capacity of 65 M containers (TEU) and is slated to be the largest port in the world by the time it is complete in 2040. The first berth will be op-erational in 2021.

The breakthrough project marks the first time ABB’s chargers will be used to power a fleet of autonomous vehicles for commercial operation. A specially designed and cus-tomized connection to the chargers will be enabled for end-to-end integration with the fully-electric AGVs.

Nissan and EDF Group have signed a cooperation agreement to accelerate the delivery of e-mobility together – particularly through the smart charging of electric vehicles. This agreement applies to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy. The cooperation agreement focuses mainly on developing smart charging solutions (vehicle to grid, or V2G) by bringing together technologies developed and mastered by both companies. Smart charging refers to technologies that optimise the charging or discharging of an electric vehicle in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

As part of the cooperation agreement, Nissan is responsible for the sale of V2G compatible electric vehicles, and EDF Group in charge of V2G charging solutions and related services.

Fundamental to Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision is the integration of electric vehicles into society, with V2G technology offering significant benefits to electricity grids and providing new financial opportunities to businesses. As increasing numbers of drivers and businesses make the switch to 100% electric vehicles, Nissan achieved record sales for both the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 van in Europe last year.

EDF Group is committed to promote clean mobility for everyone, in particular by developping “smart charging” solutions with tangible benefits to customers. These fully integrated solutions include the management of the battery’s charge and discharge as well as flexibility services to the grid available through storage. They are carried by Izivia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EDF Group specialising in charging infrastructure, and Dreev, the newly launched EDF-NUVVE joint venture, specialising in V2G commercial solutions.

Today’s agreement follows a previous partnership in the UK between EDF Energy and Nissan. Signed last year, the two organisations agreed to collaborate around the development of shared offerings in the areas of electric mobility, smart charging, second-life battery use, energy storage and renewable energy sources.

What is smart charging?

Smart charging solutions include technologies to control when vehicles charge and how quickly they power up, as well as allow the two-way flow of electricity between vehicle and charger. Thanks to V2G technologies, the energy accumulated in the batteries of electric vehicles can also be used for businesses own energy needs or the grid when required – a benefit that will become increasingly important as greater numbers of electric vehicles arrive on our roads and to help balance intermittent renewable generation.

The energy that is stored in a electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 van can be sold back to the grid by the customer, generating additional revenue to offset vehicle ownership costs. The financial, environmental and societal benefits of V2G have made it a highly anticipated innovation in the market, but one which has not fully progressed to this point. Today’s new collaboration between EDF Group and Nissan marks a huge step towards realising this electric future, creating a practical solution that benefits businesses and wider society alike.

Source: Nissan

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Eurelectric and Transport & Environment (T&E) are calling on the European institutions to facilitate a rapid roll-out of smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This is a unique collaboration as it marks the first time that the EU auto industry, electricity sector and the green group have joined forces to push for a common goal.

E-mobility has a crucial role to play in decarbonising road transport and meeting Europe’s climate objective. As Brussels gears up for a new political term, the three associations are therefore urging policy makers to guarantee the ‘right to plug’ to all those who use an electric vehicle, so that everyone across Europe can get access to charging which should be as simple as refuelling today.

This will require a massive deployment of strategically located ‘smart charging’ infrastructure right across the EU. Smart infrastructure will enable drivers to charge without severely affecting, or overloading, Europe’s electricity grids. It provides clear benefits to customers, the power system, the automobile industry and society at large, the associations believe.

ACEA, Eurelectric and T&E signed this joint call to action today at ACEA’s ‘Leading the mobility transformation’ Summit in Brussels. On this occasion, the auto and electricity industries confirmed their commitment to making more focused investments in both vehicle technology and smart charging solutions.

Whether it is urban or motorway public charging, all barriers to infrastructure deployment and e-mobility growth must be removed. In order to make charging at home, work and on motorways easy and accessible for all drivers, policy makers should reform and strengthen key legislation, such as the soon to be revised EU alternative fuels law (AFID) and the EU buildings directive (EPBD). Existing EU funding instruments must also be better leveraged to speed up the roll-out of infrastructure, and other financial instruments should be targeted to unlock new solutions to improve coverage across all member states.

“The EU auto industry wants to work with all stakeholders to make zero-emission mobility a reality,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “To convince more customers to make the switch to electric vehicles, we have to remove the stress associated with recharging. This means that everyone must have the option to recharge their vehicle easily, no matter where they live or where they want to travel to.”

“The race to the future is on. We must remove all barriers and make the shift to electric mobility as easy and convenient as possible. Every consumer should have a ‘right-to-plug’ – and the roll-out of public charging points must accelerate. By 2025, we need 1.2 million public charging points in Europe,” said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

Julia Poliscanova, Clean Vehicles Director at T&E said: “A rapid shift to electric cars powered by clean electricity is essential if we want to halt dangerous global warming. Now that carmakers are preparing a wave of new and affordable electric models, we need to ensure the fast and easy deployment of charging points at home, at work and on the road so that charging an electric car becomes a completely hassle free experience for citizens across the EU.”

Source: ACEA

Today the average car runs on fossil fuels, but growing pressure for climate action, falling battery costs, and concerns about air pollution in cities, has given life to the once “over-priced” and neglected electric vehicle. With many new electric vehicles (EV) now out-performing their fossil-powered counterparts’ capabilities on the road, energy planners are looking to bring innovation to the garage — 95% of a car’s time is spent parked. The result is that with careful planning and the right infrastructure in place, parked and plugged-in EVs could be the battery banks of the future, stabilising electric grids powered by wind and solar energy.

EVs at scale can create vast electricity storage capacity, but if everyone simultaneously charges their cars in the morning or evening, electricity networks can become stressed. The timing of charging is therefore critical. ‘Smart charging’, which both charges vehicles and supports the grid, unlocks a virtuous circle in which renewable energy makes transport cleaner and EVs support larger shares of renewables,” says Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre.

Looking at real examples, a new report from IRENA, Innovation Outlook: smart charging for electric vehicles, guides countries on how to exploit the complementarity potential between renewable electricity and EVs. It provides a guideline for policymakers on implementing an energy transition strategy that makes the most out of EVs.

Smart implementation

Smart charging means adapting the charging cycle of EVs to both the conditions of the power system and the needs of vehicle users. By decreasing EV-charging-stress on the grid, smart charging can make electricity systems more flexible for renewable energy integration, and provides a low-carbon electricity option to address the transport sector, all while meeting mobility needs.

The rapid uptake of EVs around the world, means smart charging could save billions of dollars in grid investments needed to meet EV loads in a controlled manner. For example, the distribution system operator in Hamburg — Stromnetz Hamburg — is testing a smart charging system that uses digital technologies that control the charging of vehicles based on systems and customers’ requirements. When fully implemented, this would reduce the need for grid investments in the city due to the load of charging EVs by 90%.

IRENA’s analysis indicates that if most of the passenger vehicles sold from 2040 onwards were electric, more than 1 billion EVs could be on the road by 2050 — up from around 6 million today —dwarfing stationary battery capacity. Projections suggest that in 2050, around 14 TWh of EV batteries could be available to provide grid services, compared to just 9 TWh of stationary batteries.

The implementation of smart charging systems ranges from basic to advanced. The simplest approaches encourage consumers to defer their charging from peak to off-peak periods. More advanced approaches using digital technology, such as direct control mechanisms may in the near future serve the electricity system by delivering close-to real-time energy balancing and ancillary services.

Advanced forms of smart charging

An advanced smart charging approach, called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), allows EVs not to just withdraw electricity from the grid, but to also inject electricity back to the grid. V2G technology may create a business case for car owners, via aggregators, to provide ancillary services to the grid. However, to be attractive for car owners, smart charging must satisfy the mobility needs, meaning cars should be charged when needed, at the lowest cost, and owners should possibly be remunerated for providing services to the grid. Policy instruments, such as rebates for the installation of smart charging points as well as time-of-use tariffs, may incentivise a wide deployment of smart charging.

We’ve seen this tested in the UK, Netherlands and Denmark. For example, since 2016, Nissan, Enel and Nuvve have partnered and worked on an energy management solution that allows vehicle owners and energy users to operate as individual energy hubs. Their two pilot projects in Denmark and the UK have allowed owners of Nissan EVs to earn money by sending power to the grid through Enel’s bidirectional chargers.

Perfect solution?

While EVs have a lot to offer towards accelerating variable renewable energy deployment, their uptake also brings technical challenges that need to be overcome.

IRENA analysis suggests uncontrolled and simultaneous charging of EVs could significantly increase congestion in power systems and peak load. Resulting in limitations to increase the share of solar PV and wind in power systems, and the need for additional investment costs in electrical infrastructure in form of replacing and additional cables, transformers, switchgears, etc., respectively.

An increase in autonomous and ‘mobility-as-a-service’ driving — i.e. innovations for car-sharing or those that would allow your car to taxi strangers when you are not using it — could disrupt the potential availability of grid-stabilising plugged-in EVs, as batteries will be connected and available to the grid less often.

Impact of charging according to type

It has also become clear that fast and ultra-fast charging are a priority for the mobility sector, however, slow charging is actually better suited for smart charging, as batteries are connected and available to the grid longer. For slow charging, locating charging infrastructure at home and at the workplace is critical, an aspect to be considered during infrastructure planning. Fast and ultra-fast charging may increase the peak demand stress on local grids. Solutions such as battery swapping, charging stations with buffer storage, and night EV fleet charging, might become necessary, in combination with fast and ultra-fast charging, to avoid high infrastructure investments.

Source: IRENA

Efacec has just given a new step in the e-mobility field with the development of a new fast charger for electric vehicles, called QC45 Generation 2. This charging station is the 2nd generation of the company’s fast charger bestseller, with significant improvements in software and hardware domains.

With close to 4.000 fast charging equipment spread across five continents, mostly on the European and American continents, Efacec invests in the continuous evolution of its products to meet the current and future needs of the user of EV.

QC45 Generation 2 charger is characterized by usability, with better HMI design and improvement in the identification of the connectors; easy to maintain, with easier front access and to the components; new design, more urban, futuristic and high-tech and a layout that benefits the optimization of space, allowing the chargers to be placed side by side due the ventilation is no longer on the side as was the previous version of the QC45 charger.

The innovation and differentiating features visible in QC45 Generation 2 charger represent a new approach of Efacec in the fast charging field and will be present in all products of this line.

Source: Efacec

For most people, their personal energy revolution begins with the installation of a PV system on the roof of their home. This allows them not only to cover their domestic energy needs, but also to make use of the entire spectrum of options offered by energy sector integration thanks to the intelligent solutions from Fronius Solar Energy. The ultimate goal is to power an entire household exclusively from self-generated solar energy, which can also be used to heat water and for e-mobility. This helps to increase the rate of self-sufficiency and to more efficiently utilise the PV system. When it comes to e-mobility in particular, it is important to have a suitable overall concept comprising a PV system, energy storage system, hot water generation and a wallbox – in other words, a domestic charging station for electric cars, bringing a new level of meaning to ‘solar power’.

A personal energy revolution involves exploiting the entire spectrum of energy sector integration. Optimum energy management enables the highest possible rate of self-sufficiency to be achieved with self-generated solar energy. This increases profitability and the rate of self-consumption while simultaneously reducing costs. Alongside electricity and heat, mobility is the third major sector that can be powered with electricity from a user’s own roof using solutions from Fronius.

If you own an electric car, you’ll want to power it with solar energy,” explains Martin Hackl, Global Director Solar Energy at Fronius. “But you’re often not at home when the electricity from your domestic PV system is available.” This is where Fronius comes in: the solar energy experts are taking e-mobility to the next level and are making it possible to charge an electric car in the afternoon or evening with the electricity stored throughout the day. “It’s about having an energy solution that guarantees an electric car really is fuelled with green electricity,” adds Hackl. “To achieve this, you need to get the entire package right.

Fuelling a car with green electricity

Owners of electric cars essentially have three ways of charging their vehicles. The easiest, yet most ineffective method, is to simply plug the car into the socket or wallbox when power is required and use the energy available at that moment. This often only enables the user to achieve a slight increase in self-consumption, as a large proportion of the electricity needed is drawn from the public grid.

To charge the electric car’s battery intelligently, a Fronius inverter with an integrated energy management function and a compatible wallbox (charging station for the home) is required alongside the PV system on the roof. The inverter informs the wallbox when there is surplus electricity available, which then charges the electric car. Self-consumption can typically be increased by a further 20% in this way.

Dynamic charge control (the car is charged with precisely the amount of surplus electricity that is available at the given time) and an additional Fronius battery raise the rate of self-consumption up to almost 100%, depending on the system size and consumption behaviour. With this method, the energy management system sends the surplus electricity that has been produced throughout the day to a Fronius Solar Battery for temporary storage until it is later needed to fuel the car with solar power.

This ingenious method enables users to really get the most out of e-mobility,” says Hackl. “If you also upgrade your system with a Fronius Ohmpilot, which draws on surplus electricity to generate hot water, you will have a solution that makes the most economic sense and achieves the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Source: Fronius

Groupe Renault is beginning the first large-scale pilot schemes in reversible electric charging. Its technology has the particularity of placing the reversible charger inside vehicles, so it just requires a simple, inexpensive adaptation of the existing charging terminals.

A fleet of fifteen Zoe vehicles with vehicle-to-grid charging will be introduced in Europe over the course of 2019 to develop Renault’s future offerings in reversible charging and lay the groundwork for the future standards —with their partners’ help. These pilot schemes will begin in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in an ecosystem developed by We Drive Solar and on Porto Santo Island (in the archipelago of Madeira, Portugal) with Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, an energy supplier. Following these, more pilot schemes will be introduced in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

Vehicle-to-grid charging—also called reversible charging—modulates the charging and discharging of electric-vehicle batteries in accordance with users’ needs and the grid’s supply of available electricity. Charging reaches its maximum level when the electricity supply exceeds demand, notably during peaks in production of renewable energy. But vehicles are also capable of injecting electricity into the grid during peaks in consumption. Electric vehicles can therefore serve units of temporary energy storage and become key drivers in the development of renewable energy. In this way, the electricity grid optimizes the supply of local renewable energy and reduces infrastructure costs. At the same time, customers enjoy greener, more economical consumption of electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid.

Reversible charging will be piloted in several projects (electric ecosystems or mobility services) through seven countries and alongside various partners to lay the groundwork for Groupe Renault’s future offering. The aim is twofold: to measure large-scale feasibility and potential gains. In particular, these pilot schemes will help us:

  • Underline the technical and economic advantages of an onboard solution in electric vehicles
  • Demonstrate—in concrete terms—the value of services provided for the local and national electricity grid, such as encouraging consumption of solar and wind energy, checking the grid’s frequency or tension, and reducing infrastructure costs
  • Work on the regulatory frameworks of a mobile energy-storage scheme, detecting any pitfalls in it and offering concrete solutions
  • Establish common standards, the basic requirement for an industrial-scale roll-out.

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FuturENERGY Dec. 18 - Jan. 2019

E-mobility has been emerging into our lives for years and although it has always seemed that its arrival would take place at some indeterminate time in the near future, the electric vehicle has recently rocked the entire industrial sector as well as public opinion. The waiting is over. The electric vehicle is a reality, with new models arriving every few months, offering attractive designs, new battery capacities, greater ranges and prices, which although still higher than their thermal counterparts, are relatively contained and justifiable given the performance and the total cost of ownership or the cost throughout the total life of the vehicle…By David Iriarte, Key Account Manager EM, Ingeteam.

Flexible energy options, such as energy storage, smart-charging electric vehicles, demand response and interconnectors, are needed to ensure that the energy transition proceeds on an optimal path. Our expensive power system would otherwise be reliant on fossil-fueled backup and installing excess wind and solar capacity.

The four types of flexibility mentioned above can accelerate the transition to a cleaner power system and ultimately enable the efficient integration of 80% or more renewable energy by 2040, according to two reports published today by BloombergNEF (BNEF) in partnership with Eaton and Statkraft.

The Flexibility Solutions for High-Renewable Energy Systems reports model a number of alternative scenarios for future power systems in the UK and Germany, respectively, depending on how each flexibility technology might develop in the coming years.

Energy storage and smart electric vehicle charging provide flexibility by moving large volumes of renewable energy to periods of high demand, or moving demand to periods of high renewable generation. Dispatchable demand response reduces the need for fossil-fired backup plants in the power system, reducing emissions. Interconnecting to Nordic hydro can address periods of both excess supply and excess demand, providing different benefits over the decades as the needs of the system evolve.

The two studies – focused on the UK and Germany – highlight that policies and regulation accelerating the adoption of these technologies are key to make a cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient power system possible.

Specific findings for the UK include:

•None of the scenarios halt the transition to a low-carbon power system. In all scenarios, the renewable share of generation exceeds 70% by 2030 as wind and solar become dominant, thanks to their dramatic and ongoing cost improvements. However, without new sources of clean flexibility, the system will be oversized and wasteful, making it 13% more expensive by 2040 and with 36% higher emissions.
•Greater electrification of transport yields major emissions savings with little risk to the power generation system. Avoided fuel emissions far outstrip added power sector emissions. The power generation system will comfortably integrate all these electric vehicles, and the system benefits are even greater if most EVs charge flexibly. However, local distribution networks are likely to face challenges.
•Accelerated energy storage development can hasten the transition to a renewable power system, with significant benefits by 2030 including a 13% emissions reduction and 12% less fossil backup capacity needed.

Specific findings for Germany include:

•In Germany, adding flexibility supports coal through 2030, even as renewables grow to dominate the market. This counterintuitive finding is not due to a problem with batteries, EVs, demand response or interconnectors – cheap coal is the culprit. Flexible technologies are important because they can integrate inflexible generation – and in Germany’s case, its inexpensive lignite plants also benefit. To decarbonize, Germany needs to address existing coal generation while investing in renewables, flexibility and interconnection.
•Still, by 2040, adding more batteries, flexible electric vehicles and interconnections with the Nordics all enable greater renewable penetration and emissions savings. More flexible demand, on the other hand, reduces the need for battery investment.
•Even with coal-heavy power, adding EVs reduces transport emissions.

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