Research finds utilities ill-prepared for EV demand - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement  -  March 23, 2018

Research finds utilities ill-prepared for EV demand

As the use of electric vehicles (EV) grows, how and when these zero-emission vehicles are charged will be critical. Yet research from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) shows that most utilities are only in the very early stages of preparing for a significant jump in demand for EV.

"With the rise in EVs, your local electric utility could replace your local gas station," according to a report in Utility Dive, which noted that "some companies, like PG&E, are pursuing initial efforts to encourage charging when renewable energy generation is highest." However, the report said, "Utilities are generally ill-prepared for the influx of demand."

The SEPA report, "Utilities and Electric Vehicles–Evolving to Unlock Grid Value" found that "Based on numerous and continuously revised EV forecasts, time is not on the utilities’ side," as EV use is forecasted to grow exponentially in a narrow span of time.

SEPA estimates that annual energy consumption from electric vehicles in the U.S. will increase from "a few terawatt-hours"  in 2017, to at least 118 TWh — and potentially as high as 733 TWh — by 2030. The report concludes, “"While many utilities across the country have expressed an interest in growing load, they are also uncertain about the most effective approaches to ensure benefits for consumers and address concerns of regulators and other governance boards."


Tags: SEPA

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