Page 25 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
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Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation  25

                                            SMART BUILDINGS AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

registered cars fully electric by 2025.     cars to electric vehicles. While buildings  encouraging more electric vehicles,
                                            are becoming smarter, so are cars and       smarter buildings, and greener
In the UK, up to 60% of new car sales       their charging infrastructure. And as       electricity, providing at local community
in 2030 should be electric vehicles.        electric vehicles are mostly charged at     level the necessary charging systems,
And recently Britain banned the sale        home and at the workplace, buildings        interconnected with micro energy-hubs.
of all diesel and petrol cars and vans      are slowly being transformed into
from 2040, due to rising concerns that      docking stations – modern gas stations      However, given that the technology
high levels of nitrogen oxide present a     – providing renewable electricity           related to electric vehicles and
major risk to public health, especially in  instead of fossil fuels.                    charging is developing rapidly, any
cities. The commitment follows a similar                                                lock-in to existing technologies must be
pledge made by France this year.            FOR A SPEEDY EVOLUTION                      avoided. Pre-equipping buildings (with
                                            The building, transport and power           conduits for pre-cabling, for example)
Many cities are leading the way.            sectors are connected by these              and access to a sufficient power supply,
Iserlohn, in Germany, is implementing       innovative developments, but also by a      to enable the installation of recharging
an innovative pilot project to create       growing need to facilitate their market     points later, is more appropriate than a
smarter charging and easier billing         uptake to avoid costly spikes in power      specification of charging infrastructure
procedures for electric vehicle owners.     demand. This is where forward-looking       that may be outdated, unnecessary,
While early-adopters of electric vehicles   and progressive legislation comes in.       insufficient or oversized once the
have dealt with a fragmented market,        New policies are needed to foster not       building is used. Plus, the cost of
a smarter payment method is required        only uptake, but also decarbonisation       equipping buildings with conduits is
to further boost uptake. Through smart      of the energy system. Electric vehicles     expected to be considerably cheaper,
contracts it could be possible for a        and buildings are crucial for Europe to     so this could easily be put in place in all
building owner to sell stored, or excess,   meet its climate and energy goals.          new or renovated buildings.
green electricity produced by the
building to cars passing by.                Policy-makers should support                Policy-makers should encourage and
                                            innovative business models                  foster production and self-consumption
Industry is also looking for ways to
tap into this revolution of the mobility
market. A German company, Ubitricity,
is undertaking a project to build
charging sockets for electric vehicles
into street lamps. Volvo has announced
that it will launch electric and hybrid
cars from 2019. And Toyota is working
on an electric car to be powered by an
advanced type of battery that has the
potential to increase driving range and
reduces charging time.

But if electric vehicle charging goes
unchecked, the grid may not be able to
sustain it. The problem is not the surge
in the total energy production, but the
management of peaks stemming from
a widespread switchover to electric
cars. Buildings can be the solution.

Operating as micro energy-hubs,             Copyright:
buildings can act as a balancing force
for the energy system and foster a
smooth transition from fossil fuelled
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