How will solar play a role if the newly announced DOE estimate of One Million EV’s (Electric Vehicles) by 2015 becomes reality? Interesting question and one worth exploring. Probably the most obvious point of focus here will be the spike in demand for off peak night time electricity as EV owners charge their vehicles for 8 – 10 hours while they sleep. While most folks expect electricity demand to steadily increase simply due to population increase etc, what will a Million high voltage users that don’t currently exist do to the price of off peak power? Simple. It will surely cause a dramatic price shift and may serve to push current off peak rates closer to peak power prices. Americans are not likely to change their current habits either. Air conditioning in the daylight hours and now plug in EV’s next to their mobile phones and bluetooth before bed.
If this becomes a reality, solar will play a pivotal roll in picking up the day time peak load where the most expensive electricity will become even more expensive. One can’t help but think that smart sources, solar and storage will be the only cost defense a common electricity customer will have against rapidly rising prices. Solar will defend in the daytime summer peak hours and devices and programs designed to recognize off peak pricing will automatically “download” power to storage devices to be used during hours of peak pricing for charging EV’s and the like.
An old timer once told me that the reason he wanted to live to be one hundred was simply to see what exciting things humans will do next. Extremely high electricity prices probably won’t make his list of exciting things. What we do with the challenge of providing that electricity with clean sources and new tech certainly will!