The Government has opened competitions on 10 July 2017 to fund projects that investigate new business models, consumer awareness and technologies that support interaction between electric vehicles and the grid. Real-word demonstrator projects can be proposed lasting up to 3 years, and ranging from total project costs of £1.5 million to £7 million. To put forward an application for one of these projects, applicants will need to consider a variety of preparatory steps and actions to scope propositions, including:
Eligible projects must be led by a business working with other businesses or research partners. Government expects that larger projects will include a variety of partners including from the automotive, energy and infrastructure sectors. Competitions were also opened for feasibility studies and collaborative research and development. The deadline for applications for all three competitions is 18 October 2017.
Vehicle to Grid (or “V2G”) services are part of the Government’s vision for the future of the UK’s electricity networks. Electric vehicles that can take electricity from the grid when demand is low but also return it when demand is high could help even out peaks in demand, essentially acting as portable battery storage. With the increase in embedded renewable generation, this could also ease constraints on local distribution networks, storing electricity “behind the meter” when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing and pushing it back on to the network when constraints are lifted.
The new funding was announced on 8 July 2017, with a total of £20m of funding available from the Dep
artment of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (working with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK) to help develop vehicle-to-grid technologies.
A part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, the new funding is intended to assist creation of a smarter energy system and increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads. It follows a report on the UK’s 2020 renewable heat and transport targets, published September 2016, which highlighted the great progress made toward meeting the UK’s 2020 renewable electricity target (22.31% of a 30% target), but set out the need to do more on meeting renewable heat and transport targets.