Utilities Telecom Council, The Shpigler Group
Energy usage attributable to electric vehicles (EVs) could rise 1,700 percent by 2020, according to a report authored by utility management consulting firm The Shpigler Group and released by the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC).
Annual megawatt-hour (MWh) usage from EVs could grow from 146,000 in 2010 to 2.6 million by 2020, the report notes. The growth raises technological and operational issues for the nation’s electric utilities, particularly when it comes to modernizing and upgrading utility communications and information technology (IT).
The report, “Gearing Up for Electric Vehicles: Tackling the EV Challenges to the Smart Grid,” also notes that this surge in EV usage could foster a 61-fold annual reduction in CO2 emission reductions, with almost 2.6 million tons in emissions reductions that year. To accommodate this shift in electricity usage, key issues must be addressed, including improved battery performance, continued exploration of vehicle-to-grid technology that can use EV batteries as grid storage devices and infrastructure innovations that support the peak-load changes EVs will introduce to the grid. Chief among the innovations are improvements in communications and IT technologies, which are needed to plan and operate the electric delivery system better, particularly meter data and network management systems.
“Ensuring grid reliability with hundreds of thousands of new electric vehicles plugging in every day will require a significant expansion of utilities’ existing communications and control networks,” said William R. Moroney, UTC president and CEO. “This report provides an excellent framework to help UTC’s member utilities understand the ICT network designs required to navigate the EV technology challenges ahead.”
David Shpigler, The Shpigler Group president, said rapid EV growth will change the game for electric utilities.
“At a minimum, each electric utility will need to ensure that the grid can handle the increased load that will undoubtedly occur,” he said. “Meanwhile, certain utilities will look to become more active participants in the EV sector, and this report will help to provide a guide as to the varying options at hand.”
“Gearing Up for Electric Vehicles: Tackling the EV Challenges to the Smart Grid” is sponsored by Accenture. It is available at no charge to UTC utility members and available for sale to UTC associate members and nonmembers.