The FSR Global Forum is a 4-day event fostering practice-oriented solutions on key aspects of the world energy transition. It provides a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement to facilitate transnational knowledge exchange.
It brings together 100 representatives (by invitation only) from government agencies, regulatory bodies, energy companies, energy utilities, development organisations and academics from across the world.
The Forum develops around 12 knowledge spaces to facilitate interactive discussions and digitally maps the key insights of each session. The topical issues addressed have a special focus on Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Welcome reception and dinner
The concept of electric vehicles (EVs) has been around since the beginning of the automotive industry. However, in recent years the interest in EVs has intensified. This interest is due to a confluence of factors: environmental concerns – mainly the air quality of the cities and climate change –, technological innovation in batteries, and fear about increases in oil price.
Here, EVs are understood as “plug-in electric vehicles” (PEVs), including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). EVs are not limited to cars, but also include 2-wheelers, 3- wheelers, vans, light trucks, motorcycles and buses. Presently the major change is perceived to occur in the passenger car segment. Market penetration of electric vehicles will depend on many uncertain factors, before it reaches a tipping point. The present trend appears to indicate a rapid increase in the coming years.
About one in every hundred cars sold today is powered by electricity. The yearly sales of EVs in the EU, considering both battery and plug-in hybrid, has increased from roughly 700 vehicles in 2010 to 149,500 in 2015. Globally, the threshold of 1 million electric cars on the road was exceeded in 2015, finishing with 1.26 million at the end of the year. Considering the automotive industry at large, the numbers may seem insignificant, but the trend indicates that the penetration of electric vehicles will increase rapidly in the coming years. All of this has pushed the automotive industry to innovate and has made e-mobility the new buzz word.
The rising number of electric vehicles has created concerns regarding its potential impact on the power system. The system may be put at risk due to a significant growth in the electricity consumption and the increase in unpredictability of consumption patterns owing to vehicle charging. Yet, electric vehicles could become a solution rather than a problem by contributing significantly in offering flexibility while integrating variable renewables into the system. Apart from the system level benefits, permitting EVs to participate in the electricity markets would present new revenue generation opportunities for vehicle owners. This in turn would further improve the business case for EVs by reducing overall costs. Thus, in this context EVs can be considered as a distributed energy resource (DER).
Going beyond the notion of EVs being just additional demand, the interaction of EVs with the electricity system can be broken down into 4 levels of engagement.
However, the integration of EVs has several challenges, ranging from technical, planning and operational, policy and regulation. They are listed below.
Planning & Operation
Policy & Regulation
When these vehicles are idle or parked, they may be viewed as a distributed storage resource (similar to a stationary battery, with some additional limitations) that can be used to provide flexibility to the system.
However, the primary function of EVs is to provide a sustainable alternative for transportation. Thus, EVs can be considered as an unreliable resource that is dependent on consumer behaviour and on some external factors. Some examples of this dependence are limitations in the time of use of the EVs, requirements on the charging times, constraints related to the ownership of EVs, and availability of the charging infrastructure. Therefore, for EVs to become flexibility providers, an innovative regulatory framework would be required and with the right economic signals, consumers’ behaviour could be shaped to respond to the needs of the power system and to provide electricity services with economic value.
Distributed energy resources (DERs), whether distributed generation, storage, electric vehicles or demand response, are becoming ubiquitous in many power systems and the trend appears to be unstoppable. Direct regulation of this diversity of countless devices by direct regulation or control is a hopeless task. The alternative is to develop a comprehensive system of efficient economic signals, with sufficient spatial and temporal granularity, to incentivize DERs to respond efficiently to the local and global system conditions at every moment in time. The particular case of DERs that we examine here are electric vehicles.
Depart from Florence
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