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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Bodhi Rader

Vehicle-to-Grid Technology in the UK: Combining Transport and Electricity Models

Bodhi Rader

Vehicle-to-Grid Technology in the UK: Combining Transport and Electricity Models

This paper discusses a prospective synergy between two entrenched industries that are a hallmark of industrialized society. These industries, personal transportation and electricity generation, represent incredible freedom and convenience, but also contribute significantly to greenhouse gases.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is a paradigm shift to feed power from the vehicle fleet to the electric grid. The vehicles in Great Britain today are idle over 97% of the day and have 30 times the mechanical power of all current generating plants. This resource could be used as storage, for grid optimization, to lower electric system costs, or even to enable intermittent renewables to penetrate in greater amounts. At the same time, the electric power infrastructure is frequently underutilized and could benefit from efficiencies delivered by this technology.

This paper is the first analysis of the potential of electric drive vehicles to supply these services and at the same time offer value to utilities and revenue to vehicle owners in Great Britain. These benefits could reduce harmful global impacts by bringing about mass adoption of clean vehicles and renewable energy generation without compromising quality of life. V2G could help the UK achieve its ambitious targets of a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and its goal of deriving 15% energy supplied from renewables by 2020.