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Forschungszentrum Jülich - Annual Report 2012

Forschungszentrum Jülich | Annual Report 2012 A team headed by Jülich scientist Jochen Linßen developed a conclusive scenario of a future energy supply in order to study the integration of electric cars into the German electricity grid. The scientists presented their final report in 2012. Recharging After Midnight – Study on Electromobility T he current German federal government is backing electric vehicles in an effort to protect the climate. Its concept envis- ages that the Germans will be driving one million electric cars by 2020 and six million in 2030. Jülich’s experts for energy systems analysis worked with partners from science and industry on the NET-ELAN project, investigating the impact of this political target on the electricity grid, the energy industry, and the climate. According to the study, the use of electric vehicles would lead to a reduc- tion of almost 5% in the consumption of mineral oil products in the entire trans- port sector by 2030. The result: the emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 would be reduced by between five and eleven million tonnes in Germany. “This figure has such a wide range because the electricity used to charge the batter- ies of the electric vehicles comes from wind energy and the amount of electrici- ty it generates fluctuates depending on weather conditions,” explains Jochen Linßen from the Institute of Energy and Climate Research, lead author of the NET-ELAN final report. The study, which involved scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, TU Berlin, the Centre of Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen, and Vattenfall Europe AG, also came to the conclusion that the market intro- duction of electric cars as planned by the federal government is technically feasible. If the cars are recharged at defined times, Germany will not have to construct any additional power plants or adapt the transmission grids. In another respect, however, the ca- pacity of the currently planned grid will not be sufficient. Not all of the excess electricity from wind energy can be transported to the conurbations and thus to the charging stations for electric cars. The excess electricity comes from planned wind farms both onshore and offshore in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. On windy days, they will produce more power than will be immediately required. On calm days, however, they will not be able to cover the demand. The study presents a solution that would allow electric cars in 2030 to consume up to 60% of the electricity required to charge them from otherwise unused wind energy. In addition to ex- panding the grid to combat bottlenecks, the following strategy will help: electric cars should be recharged throughout the night between the hours of midnight and six in the morning. During this time, the grid is not used to capacity as the demand for electricity is low and the potential excess electricity from wind energy is particularly high. 22 Will the electric cars on German roads be recharged using excess electric energy from wind turbines in 2030? The NET-ELAN study provides an answer. Dr. Jochen Linßen, expert in energy systems analysis at Forschungszentrum Jülich Institute