Electric Vehicle Batteries Will ‘Dwarf’ The Grid’s Energy-Storage Needs

There will be more than enough batteries in electric vehicles by 2050 to support a grid that runs on solar and wind—if the two are connected by smart chargers, according to experts at the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Electric vehicles are expected to carry 40 terawatt-hours of battery storage by that date, said Francisco Boshell, IRENA’s team lead for renewable energy technology standards and markets, compared to nine terawatts of stationary storage.

“If we see this from not from a transport perspective but from a power-sector perspective it also means that a massive electricity storage capacity would be available with all these batteries on wheels,” Boshell said in webinar posted by IRENA this week. “Batteries in EVs dwarf a stationary battery capacity in 2050. This is indeed a great opportunity for the power sector transformation.”

If those EV batteries are connected to the grid by smart chargers, they could not only provide sufficient power but also many of the system services needed by a grid that relies on intermittent renewables.

Those services include primary and secondary power reserves, fast-frequency reserves, arbitrage, voltage control, and congestion management through load shifting and peak shaving, said Arina Anisie, who collaborated with Boshell and other analysts on an


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