Smart Grid Electric transports
The project partners in Electric Vehicles and Distributed Energy Resources wanted to add a new dimension to energy consumption and mobility.
They established a pilot project in Eindhoven to encourage the use of locally generated solar energy in electric vehicles using a smart electricity grid.
They found solutions for local energy storage and attempted to establish a cooperative in order to encourage businesses and consumers to actively manage their energy supply and demand.
At Strijp-S, a former Phillips complex in Eindhoven, the consortium initiated a project to implement a smart grid and establish an energy cooperative in a business park. Strijp-S was considered a suitable location for a pilot project because it actively participates in sustainable development projects and is already home to a number of innovative SMEs.
Alongside producing academic publications, the project succeeded in designing a smart energy management system that does not only align supply and demand, but also includes a module for financial settlement between the partners in an energy cooperative.
The collaborating partners wanted to solve some issues:
- Will enabling businesses to actively participate in energy generation stimulate the market to embrace electric vehicles and renewable energy?
- How can we encourage businesses and consumers to change their energy behavior?
- Can we create a new trading network for locally generated energy that complies with the legal framework and the requirements with regard to security of supply?
- What commercial opportunities will this create for the project partners?
Why they acted?
Encourage the use of locally generated solar energy in electric vehicles using a smart electricity grid.
How we did it?
The project has been stopped early because they failed.
There is no technical barrier to generating energy at location A and consuming it at location B, and it is administratively feasible too.
However, the law sees this process as the commercial supply of energy, which means that the Regulatory Energy Tax and VAT have to be charged over the energy provided. This law currently hinders many renewable energy projects. The Regulatory Energy Tax and VAT are only exempt for major customers who purchase energy for several users under a single invoice.
Despite the setbacks, the concept of making energy available in the form of a battery charging service still has a future. This concept could be implemented throughout Europe and is a new dimension in mobility.
The biggest challenge is to change user behaviour: how can you stimulate people to take a different approach to mobility?
- The plans were not fulfilled during the pilot phase because the project group could not reach agreement with the Municipality of Eindhoven.
- Moreover, the likelihood of the project succeeding had already been reduced by earlier setbacks and they did not think they could achieve the desired results in the time remaining.
- Consequently, the project was terminated prematurely.
- The consortium was confronted with the first bottleneck early on in the project.
- The original plan was to deploy the electric vehicles as taxis, but this proved to be commercially unfeasible. The cars are viable for small commercial use, but not as taxis, because in cold weather they have to be recharged twice per shift and there is not enough time for that during the day.
- Moreover, investing in solar power to reduce energy costs is mainly interesting for consumers, and not businesses. Electric transport is an interesting proposition for commercial parties because they can apply for tax relief schemes such as the EIA (Energy Investment Allowance).
- A new business case was developed whereby private parties could invest in solar panels installed on commercial properties and the energy generated was distributed in the form of a battery charging service. However, this plan came into difficulties as well; business owners were reluctant to invest in renewable energy because of the economic crisis.
Frans van den Heuvel, ProxEnergy
- Lessons Learned from Smart Grid Projects, Case Studies & Models all over the world (dossier)
- Get Grid Free. All about Sun Power
- The power grid gets climate proof
- Mini-grids for Rural Electrification?
- Solar Panels can be recycled
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