Vehicle to Grid (V2G) Power will allow my electric vehicle to power and be powered by the grid.
By Grace Karugu, Group Accountant and Administrator
In approximately 14 years, my ideal Kenya will have integrated green and sustainable energy like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. We will trade in our internal combustion engine based vehicles (which use petroleum to propel the vehicle and emit toxic gases, ultimately causing harm to the environment and human life) for clean and efficient electric-powered vehicles.
Vehicle to Grid (V2G) Power will allow my electric vehicle to power and be powered by the grid. I will charge my vehicle at times of off-peak demand (and therefore cheap tariffs), and either use that stored power in my ‘smart-home’ or at work (when electricity costs are higher). I will also be able to sell electricity back to the grid, generating revenue and cutting the amount of generation needed to meet peak demand.
This is how it will work:
In the mornings I will drive to work and instead of my car remaining idly parked throughout the day, the on-board battery will be connected to a nearby electrical grid via appropriate communication devices. This can be fulfilled by utilizing the concept of ‘smart grid’; an electricity network capable of processing information, managing the electricity flow, and fulfill the end users varying power demands as well as provide communication between generation sources and end users. This concept works to balance the ‘off-peak’ and ‘peak’ demand, that is, charge during off-peak hours and sell it back to the grid during peak hours. Alternatively, instead of selling electricity back to the grid, I can choose to power the coffee machine at work or my TV at home.
The benefit of this will be a Kenya with cleaner power, lower energy costs, greater economic stability and increased overall productivity.
The major concerns are the high initial cost, lack of government subsidy and resistance to change, be it from manufacturers or people (particularly those with ‘fuel-lined pockets’). However my ideal vision is that the narrow and negligent persons will act selflessly and focus only on the future prospects of V2G.
The recent projects in the V2G implementation, for example by Nissan, have shown promising results and encourage further research in the field. As and when more durable batteries and cost efficient grid lines become common, V2G will become a widespread reality.
Note to my 2030-self: Do NOT forget to charge your car!