ot that long ago, the idea that the transportation sector might actually provide energy back into the stationary generation sector was pretty much on the outside of the bell curve of acceptable thinking. Today the VtoG concept is a respectable topic in respectable circles
Can plug-in hybrid electric vehicles keep the electric grid stable?
By John Voelcker
First Published October 2007
The keynote speaker, Senator Maria Cantwell
(D-Wash.), plunged directly into the policy fray
. “Many of us on Capitol Hill see the potential of plug-in hybrids
,” Cantwell said, describing a bill she has introduced to encourage early production and purchase of plug-ins. It includes tax credits
for consumers who buy or convert to plug-ins, tax incentives on tooling for carmakers
who sell early models, and incentives for utilities to offer discounts for off-peak car recharging.
It also encourages utilities to upgrade to “smart grid
” technology, allowing electric appliances to communicate with the grid and charge themselves
based on real-time power prices.
Collectively, Wellinghoff proposed, the batteries
in millions of PHEV
s could provide five distinct benefits: lowering greenhouse-gas emissions, improving urban air quality, saving consumers money, bolstering power-grid reliability, and reducing oil imports
How would those results be achieved?
By making the energy stored in plug-in hybrids
an integral part of the grid, using a few percent of each battery’s energy storage capacity to meet peak demand
rather than adding new generating capacity—and by paying consumers accordingly.
The notion is called vehicle-to-grid power
, or V2G, and its workings, economics, and practicalities were the meat and potatoes of the symposium. (clip)
Clearly such a notion requires radical thinking. Whether consumers are ready to make that kind of leap—let alone the automakers or the electric industry—is open to debate.
But the ghost of Henry Ford was invoked, with his legendary quotation on responding to consumer demands: “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.”
When consumers were asked about buying a Plug In hybrid, 27% said they would be likely
to include plug in hybrid technology in their next vehicle.
n other developments, Odyne Corporation
, a leading developer of hybrid electric vehicle technology and Dueco, Inc., one of the largest utility equipment manufacturers in the country, introduced another important step in the greening of the nation's utility companies, the first plug-in hybrid aerial lift truck
Labels: V to G