£10m boost for householders to store electricity
A plan for Midlands householders to store electricity and sell it back to the National Grid moved a step closer with the Government awarding £10 million for research.
The money has been given to a consortium led by Nissan which aims to install 1,000 vehicle-to-Grid chargers to provide a two-way link between electric car batteries and the power network over the next two years.
“This is great news for home owners and the green energy industry,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd.
“Electric cars could be used to offer back-up power when wind and solar energy is low as the problem in the future will not be generating electricity, but storing it.”
He added: “Because green energy is intermittent with the weather, so the search is on for better storage to prevent paying big consumers to switch off their power at peak times or returning to the old technologies of coal, gas and diesel and this funding should help provide a solution.”
In the trial Nissan, which makes the Leaf, the world’s biggest selling electric car, will work with the National Grid and local operators Northern Powergrid and UK Power Networks.
Firstly, they will test the potential of the technology on businesses with fleets of electric vehicles.
If that is successful the system could be rolled out to householders by the car giant. Working with Ovo Energy they believe they could eventually offer electric drivers free power in return for battery storage.
The Government is already encouraging this technology after Chancellor Philip Hammond’s proposed a £400m investment in electric vehicles, with more roadside chargers in last autumn’s Budget. He also provided £80 million funding for a national centre in Coventry to develop electric vehicles batteries which will lead to 10,000 new jobs in the city.
Ron added: “Just as the car engine is left unused for much of the time so the solution may be to pay electric car owners to take excess power from their vehicles’ batteries.
“Customers will become producers supplying power from their rooftop solar panels or their car battery back into the Grid when needed.
“Then electric car owners will also be able to charge their vehicles overnight using cheap electricity as some do already with storage heaters.”
He said this is already starting to happen with Britain’ biggest domestic battery company, Moixa, who under their Gridshare scheme give a £50 bonus to customers willing to share some of their capacity with the Grid.
Dieter Helm, the economist who reviewed energy costs for the Government, says the country faces challenges on a scale and magnitude not seen since the reconstruction of our electricity system after 1945.
But he added that the benefits from electric car batteries could be huge with much cheaper power for our homes.
For help and advice on green energy such as solar panels, loft and cavity wall insulation and cheaper hot water, contact Ron at Keele, Staffordshire, on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk