Abstract–– industry, one that creates more choice for customers,

Abstract–– The
aim of the electricity system is in the midst of a transformation, as
technology and innovation disrupt traditional models from generation to beyond
the meter. Three trends are converging to produce game-changing disruptions.
Electrification of large sectors of the economy such as transport
Decentralization, spurred by the sharp decrease in costs of distributed energy
resources like distributed storage, distributed generation, demand flexibility
and energy efficiency. Digitalization of both the grid, with smart metering,
smart sensors, automation and other digital network technologies, and beyond
the meter, with the advent of the Internet of Things and a surge of
power-consuming connected devices These three trends act in a virtuous cycle,
enabling, amplifying and reinforcing developments beyond their individual
contributions. Electrification is critical for long-term carbon reduction goals
and will represent an increasingly relevant share of renewable energy.
Decentralization makes customers active elements of the system and requires
significant coordination. Digitalization supports both the other trends by
enabling more control, including automatic, real-time optimization of
consumption and production and interaction with customers.



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Grid edge
technologies offer the potential for an exciting transformation of the
electricity industry, one that creates more choice for customers, greater
efficiency, more efficient decarbonization, and better economics for
stakeholders across the value chain. By following the recommendations in this
report, policymakers, regulators, and private enterprise can work together to
secure the positive changes they offer to electricity markets worldwide. These three
technology trends bringing disruption to the electricity industry
electrification, decentralization and digitization will affect grid and behind
the meter economics differently depending on their trajectory of adoption. To
gain a better understanding of which mechanisms will affect the adoption curve
and which tools (including policies and regulations) will accelerate adoption,
each of these technology trends and detail below.


As generation
shifts to more renewable sources, electrification creates further environmental
benefits by shifting many ends uses of electricity example transportation and
heating, away from fossil fuel sources, and in many cases electrification
increases energy efficiency. In OECD markets, the most promising electrification
opportunities are in those segments that are among the largest polluters:
transportation, commercial industrial applications, and residential heating. In
the United States, of the 5 billion tons of CO2 emissions in 2017,
transportation was the largest segment (1.9 billion tons), followed by
commercial/industrial processes and manufacturing (1.4 billion tons) and
residential heating and appliances (1 billion tons). Light-duty vehicles (cars,
small trucks), at 1 billion tons, accounts for slightly more than half (55%) of
the transportation segment, making this a critical area for decarbonization and
the current focus area for the initiative. Similarly, in the United Kingdom,
transport accounts for about 30% of the country’s total carbon emissions where
passenger cars and light-duty vehicles account for the majority of the
transport segment Electrification of transport

Electric vehicle (EV) technology
has evolved rapidly over the past five years. The range has improved from less
than 100 miles (161 km) up to 300 miles (483 km) for some models, addressing a
prime convenience issue compared to traditional vehicles with
internal-combustion engines. The cost of batteries has declined from about
$1,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2010 to below $300 in 2017, dramatically
lowering the cost of EVs and enabling lower-cost models such as the Nissan Leaf
or the Tesla Model 3. These price drops have closed the gap with more
traditional ICE cars, and buyers can choose from more available models and
styles every year. As a result, 2017 was the year where over one million EVs
globally were on the road. Today, electric vehicles in the
largest markets benefit from direct subsidies, for example, in the form of tax
credits that partially offset higher purchase costs. By 2020, EVs will be
economical without subsidies in many countries – reaching three to five-year
breakeven periods compared to an investment in a traditional car or truck (see
Figure 4). This improvement is due primarily to the declining costs of
batteries, which account for most of the cost differential of electric vehicles
today. Battery costs are expected to decrease to below $200 per kWh by 2020


Even as EVs are
expected to become economically competitive, several infrastructure challenges
could limit successful adoption of EVs. First among these is the paucity of
charging stations, which lag far behind the number of gasoline stations. Today,
slow charging stations cost about $1,200 for a residential charger, $4,000 for
a commercial garage charger and $6,000 for a curbside charger. Reallocating EV
subsidies from vehicles to charging stations over the next five years could
enable the deployment of two to eight times as many charging stations compared
to the number of EVs subsidized. Public infrastructure is also lagging behind
mostly due to uncertainty related to the model of deployment, including costs
ownership and technical requirements. High-power charging infrastructure
(greater than 150kW) positioned along highways would be a good choice for this
public infrastructure.

Vehicle charging may also present
new challenges if the deployment of charging technology and pricing signals
fails to enable flexible and smart charging. For example, if all of
California’s EVs by 2020 were charged during peak hours, it could increase peak
load by 13%, requiring significant new investments in peak generation assets
and reduced overall utilization of generation assets.


Adoption of EVs will increase electricity consumption, and offer
a great opportunity to optimize utilization of the grid. This could be
accomplished if recharging technology, together with proper pricing and smart
and flexible charging, are deployed – e.g. car owners charge their EVs at times
when grid utilization is low (at night) or when supply is very high (windy and
sunny afternoons, when renewables are highly productive). In addition,
vehicle-to-home/vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology could be an enabler where
electricity of the batteries can be injected back to the home or grid. In 2015,
EVs in California represented about 0.3% of total load, drawing 650(GWh). If
California reaches its goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025, they
could account for 2% to 3% of the total load in that state, depending on the
mix of vehicles. This percentage will continue to climb if EV adoption follows
forecast growth. Analysis by the World Economic Forum has shown that this
increase in EVs could result in increased system asset utilization by several
percentage points. However, under other scenarios, EV adoption could advance
even faster. Autonomous driving technology may be one of the biggest
accelerators of EV adoption, along with declining battery costs. Electric
vehicles also strengthen the economic case for autonomous mobility services
such as self-driving taxis, as they offer cost and convenience advantages over
conventional vehicles. This technology creates value in several new ways.
First, it will allow commuters to focus on working, reading, entertainment or
even sleeping rather than driving. Second, autonomous vehicles lend themselves
more readily to car sharing when not in use by their owners. This new revenue
stream can make the investment in a new car more attractive. A shared car’s
higher utilization makes a strong case for it to be electric, given their lower
operating costs per mile. Ultimately, autonomous technology may encourage a
transition to “transportation as a service, where individual customers buy
fewer cars and companies own large fleets of electric, autonomous vehicles.


Digital technologies increasingly allow devices across the grid
to communicate and provide data useful for customers and for grid management
and operation. Smart meters, new smart IoT sensors, network remote control and
automation systems, and digital platforms that focus on optimization and
aggregation, allow for real-time operation of the network and its connected
resources and collect network data to improve situational awareness and utility


recommendations from the actionable framework can be distilled into a number of
specific example solutions for each major grid edge technology, depending on the
technology’s largest opportunities and challenges. The solutions below are
considered among the highest priority solutions for each technology. Numerous recommendations
from the actionable framework apply to many or all of the technologies,
including those that advocate a level playing field, cost reflectiveness, and
long-term reliable and innovation-oriented regulation.


Grid edge
technologies are paving the way towards a new energy system that will unlock
significant economic and social benefits. However, there is a great risk for
value destruction if the system fails to efficiently capture the value of
distributed energy resources, which could leave generation or network assets
stranded and see customers defect from the grid. This risk represents one more
reason to identify and take the right actions that will accelerate and make the
transition cost effective. The speed of adoption and the success in shaping the
transformation in the most beneficial way for the society and the system
overall will depend on a broad range of factors, which fall under four main
dimensions: regulation, infrastructure, business models and customer
engagement. The public and private sectors will need to contribute to
successfully accelerate adoption of grid edge technologies.





Energy Star
market data.

EDSO, TSO–DSO Data Management Report,2016.



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