ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH IN TRANSPORT
THE FUTURE NOW
Vehicle-to-Grid – not as futuristic as you might think…
The European Commission wants 30m Electric Vehicles (EVs) in circulation by 2030 – something that will dramatically increase electricity demand. While some might ponder on this goal’s feasibility, some cities, regions and organisations are taking matters into their hands. Sabina Asanova provides the details on three POLIS members that are currently taking action in the Netherlands.
The European Commission’s goal of 30 million Electric Vehicles (EVs) by 2030 (one of the sustainable mobility milestones in the European Green Deal) is designed to achieve a 55% CO2 reduction and a pretty good reason to dramatically increase the demand for electricity.
However, only by correctly balancing and integrating electric transport with the electricity grid and the available renewable energy options it is possible to achieve a transport system that would (and could) match the Green Deal goals. In 2020, the Netherlands already had over 272,000 electric vehicles (Battery EV + Plug-in Hybrid)1 and by that all-important date of 2030 the Dutch aim to reach 2m EVs.
Components of Sustainable Energy and Transport System, © SEEV4-City
Type of charging
Fair questions – and ones that would pop out of anyone’s mind when thinking about the deployment of electric vehicles in Europe – are: How are cities, regions, and provinces rolling out their sustainable energy and transport system? Are there clear, tangible examples? There’s a simple answer to that one, at least. Indeed, there are – and they’re in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam is preparing for an expected increase of electric cars, as well as an increase of locally generated renewable energy. The city is aware of the limits to the existing distribution network in accommodating this increasing electrification, and, therefore, is open to host and support research and innovation pilots for smart charging and V2G solutions. Recently, two pilots were implemented and supported by the Interreg North Sea Region programme (www.seev4-city.eu).
The first pilot focused on Vehicle2Business. The Amsterdam Arena is a large sports and event facility that presents a different order of magnitude for V2G experiences, with a consumption of energy comparable to a district of 2,700 households. Thanks to its photovoltaics (PV) installation, the Amsterdam Johan Cruijff (JC) Arena already produces around 8% of the electric energy it consumes, the rest is foreseen by certified regional wind energy.
The Amsterdam Arena is a large sports and event facility that presents a different order of magnitude for V2G experiences, with a consumption of energy comparable to a district of 2,700 households
Arena scheme within SEEV4-City, © SEEV4-City
Within the Seev4-City project, the JC Arena has invested in a 3MW/2.8MWh battery energy storage system, 14 EV charging stations and one V2G charging unit. With 2000 parking spaces at the Arena, many owned by the municipality, the potential for further optimization is large. In addition, the experience of the Amsterdam Arena serve as a development model for other stadiums worldwide. The second pilot in Amsterdam dealt with Vehicle2City, defined as Flexpower I and II. The Flexpower pilot was used to test, improve, and scale up a smart charging solution that reduces the power available for charging EVs when the stress on the electricity network is already high and then allows faster charging when the available capacity is sufficient. For this purpose, dynamic capacity profiles were created, and energy use of 432 charging stations throughout Amsterdam monitored. An important conclusion is that scaling up will significantly improve both impacts and business cases. The results of this pilot support the roll-out of V2G schemes in Amsterdam, and also serve to explore the possibilities of variable energy prices in combination with V2G.
The ERDF-funded Interreg Flanders-Netherlands project DeeldeZon 2018-2022, set up by Zonnova and partners and supported by the Province of Noord-Brabant, is looking for an integrated solution storing the generated renewable energy in EVs during the day and deliver it back in the evening.
DeeldeZon connects solar energy to a direct current 20kW Vehicle to Grid (DC-V2G) charging station with shared EVs serving as a district battery. A DC-V2G charging station returns 5.5 times more energy than its alternating current (AC) equivalent (20kW versus 3.6kW). In Europe there are already 50,000 EVs that can be connected directly to a DC-V2G charging station. A single EV has a DC feed-in capacity of 55 solar panels, delivering 20kW. The reservation system for the shared EVs supplies usage data for the individual cars and the users. This is the basis for the feed-in strategy. The province of Noord-Brabant is helping to bring the project to the attention of larger players in the field, such as network operators and energy companies – this would allow it to be scaled up. In Noord-Brabant, the project is up and running at Hoogeind, in the municipality of Breda, and is under development in, among others, the Municipality of 's-Hertogenbosch, where the DeeldeZon system is based on neighbourhood centres.
The province of Noord-Brabant is helping to bring the project to the attention of larger players in the field, such as network operators and energy companies
To provide insight into the importance of the concept at the local level, ZenMo TU/e have developed an interactive simulation model on behalf of DeeldeZon that shows that with the right mix of smart charging stations, V2G charging stations and shared EVs in the neighbourhood the local network is not overloaded. Well-balanced charging techniques make the EV a pleasure for the neighbourhood instead of a burden.
The City of Arnhem
The CleanMobilEnergy project (CME) is made possible by Interreg North West Europe and focuses on implementing an interoperable energy management system (iEMS) in four city pilots to demonstrate how different local combinations of electric mobility, battery storage and renewable energy can be optimised to maximise local self-reliance and minimise impacts on the power grid. Partners from Germany, The Netherlands, UK, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium collaborate to realise this.
The City of Arnhem (NL) coordinates the project as Lead Partner as well as implementing its own ambitious city pilot, involving a river cruise ship harbour, a large battery storage system, a 14MW solar farm located next to the harbour and all public electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the city. The harbour provides electricity to ships so they do not run their diesel generators while docked. All of these components are connected to the iEMS, which forecasts the supply of solar energy and the demand from the EVs and harbour. The iEMS then optimises the energy flows to make sure the most solar energy is consumed locally, and the grid is not congested by peak demand, by controlling the battery storage as well as recommending smart charging behaviours to the EVs. To date, Arnhem has electrified the harbour, which can house up to 18 large ships, installed the 1.5MWh battery, connected 200+ EV chargers in the city to the iEMS system, and is currently building the solar farm. The main challenge so far has been in establishing a commercial/legal agreement between all parties involved to ensure that the iEMS can be operated in a fair, transparent manner with benefits shared to provide the business case for each party. As part of a shared energy system, all interests need to be represented in the control priorities of the iEMS, which is a unique challenge not seen in cases where such a system manages devices from a single owner.
To date, Arnhem has electrified the harbour, which can house up to 18 large ships, installed the 1.5MWh battery, connected 200+ EV chargers in the city to the iEMS system, and is currently building the solar farm
Lead by example
No matter how futuristic the applications above sound, these technologies are developing rapidly and will be embedded in the decarbonisation strategies. So, take the examples above as an inspiration and do not wait to start with exploring V2G in your city or region. To help you in this task, POLIS together with Northumbria University and AVERE, has published a set of recommendations for different levels of public authorities: check it, and get it started.
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