Call for help from the power grid

In a power grid, exactly the same amount of electricity must be drawn or consumed (load) at any given time as is fed into or generated.

Date:

02.09.2019

Reading time:

2 min

Text:

Moritz Fehlow, Energy industry and charging infrastructure eeMobility

Photo:

Cassie Boca on Unsplash.com
  • Why electricity prices rise or fall
  • What is bidirectional loading

As in "Electromobility: How do you charge intelligently?", we are now developing in the direction of a "generation-oriented" electricity landscape. If wind and sun produce a lot of electricity, a lot of electricity must inevitably be consumed. If too little electricity is consumed, electricity prices on the stock exchange can drop dramatically, similar to the one in Frankfurt. Since the electricity must be purchased, this incentive can even lead to positive prices - a cry for help from the power grid.

This price effect also exists the other way round. This means that in times of high demand and low generation, electricity prices rise considerably. Acutely in such situations, one can regulate the load or the generation as well as take electricity from or transport it to the affected grid area.

 

Mutual relationship between wind energy and electricity prices (Source: eeMobility)

 

Electric mobility at the right time

Thanks to eeMobility, electromobility is becoming a flexible load - distributed throughout Germany. The future also holds the bidirectional loading ready: At the so-called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), power can be taken from the vehicle battery and fed back into the mains supply*. If wind turbines or PV systems do not have to be switched off or at least down-regulated, but instead have a flexible consumer, the share of renewable energies in electricity consumption increases.

Sensibly draw and provide power

This also means that these electricity volumes do not have to be available at a later date with potentially less RES** production. This is because the electricity may then come back from coal, gas or nuclear power - and the energy turnaround is not helped at all. Another advantage is the regional distribution of the many individual electric cars. Where a lot of electricity is consumed locally or can be compensated by V2G, there is no need to transport electricity from higher-level networks (medium and high-voltage networks) to or from the region. 

Flexible power consumption and spontaneous supply are valuable features that will be increasingly in demand in the future. They promote the integration of renewable energies and can reduce the need for supra-regional grid expansion - from which not only the environment but also society benefits!

* This technology already exists but is not yet widely used and therefore not yet an option for widespread application. There are few compatible vehicles and the supply of charging infrastructure is also very limited. The system is only commercially available for the Chademo connector type.

** reusable energies

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