PÖYRY POINT OF VIEW REPORT / 3 Jan 2018
How to tackle the impact of high-power electric vehicle charging on the Swedish power grid
In less than a decade, the automotive sector has undergone an incredible shift towards electrification. Thanks to the drop in battery prices, electric vehicles passed from being just a concept to a real product, which is set to ultimately replace the internal combustion engine. Can the Swedish power grid meet the growing demand?
Currently Sweden is among the top 10 nations in terms of EV sales volume, having an EV stock at more than 40 000 units.
In June 2017, Sweden passed a new Climate Act, legally binding the country to become carbon neutral by 2045. This puts a further strong pressure on the transportation sector.
But can the Swedish power grid meet the growing demand?
Where are the EVs charged?
The vast majority of charging currently takes place at home and thus, to encourage widespread adoption of EVs, public – and fast – charging is essential. In order to meet the growing power demand, major players are planning to install high-power chargers, with a rated power of up to 350 kW. Unpredictability and high power demand of these systems could considerably overload the grid, consequently affecting its stability. In some cases, distribution operators (DSOs) might not even have enough capacity to accommodate such a demand. For example, in the Stockholm area, where the grid is highly utilised, there is a concrete risk of congestion and, consequently, charging stations might not be allowed to connect to the network.
By law, distribution operators are obliged to permit connection; however, they can postpone due to a capacity shortage, until the system gets upgraded.
Can batteries offer capacity remedy?
“Decreasing battery costs offer an interesting solution to the charging challenge. Coupling charging stations with an appropriately sized energy storage system could result in several potential benefits, both for the charge station owners as well as the distribution operators. The latter could profit from a flatter and more predictable demand profile, which would consequently ease operations. The flexibility provided by the implementation of storage may also defer the need of infrastructure upgrade” says Johan Jalvemo, Head of Transmission and Distribution, Pöyry Sweden.
Read more on the challenges EV charging places on the Swedish grid in the report.
Johan Jalvemo, Head of Transmission & Distribution, Pöyry Sweden
Tel +46 76 76 96 415
Did you know? Pöyry is participating in EU-SysFlex, the EU project creating a long-term roadmap for the large-scale integration of at least 50% renewable energy to the European electricity grids.