NEW DELHI: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has outlined a strategy to boost the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in energy grid support, which could significantly enhance the sustainability of the country’s power system.
Smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services are crucial to manage the large-scale integration of renewable energy sources and to provide ancillary services to the electricity grid, the authority has said in a study.
The CEA’s report, prepared with contributions from experts at IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, and IIT Roorkee, among others, envisions a future where EVs can support the grid by offering services like peak shaving and load balancing.
The report stresses that EVs can be utilized as flexible loads and decentralized storage resources, offering additional flexibility to support power system operations. “With smart charging, EVs could adapt their charging patterns to flatten peak demand, and allow valleys and support real-time balancing of the grid by adjusting their charging levels,” the CEA stated.
The guidelines propose a framework for the integration of EVs with the power sector, emphasizing the role of EVs as both energy consumers and potential energy storage units. The report identifies the massive potential of parked EVs, which spend 80-90% of their lifetime idle, to serve as a vast electricity storage capacity. This stored energy could be utilized during peak hours to reduce stress on the grid.
Furthermore, the report underscores the importance of smart charging infrastructure that would facilitate large-scale renewable energy integration and the need for regulatory policies that support the sustainable integration of EV charging systems. “The cost reductions in renewable power generation make electricity an attractive low-cost fuel for the transport sector,” the CEA noted, adding that EVs’ ability to store and return energy to the grid could help in “providing additional flexibility to support power system operations.”
However, the report also points to challenges such as increased peak demand, congestion in the distribution grid, and the requirement for upgrades in distribution infrastructure to accommodate high-power chargers. It highlights technology standards, electric load management strategies, battery swapping, and advanced metering infrastructure as vital components for the successful implementation of V2G services.
To address these challenges, the CEA recommends the adoption of standardization, interoperability, bidirectional charging systems, and robust communication systems between mobility and the grid. The report presents a significant step toward the CEA’s goal of integrating smart technology to manage the burgeoning demands on India’s power infrastructure while maximizing the utilization of renewable resources.