The transport and energy sectors are undergoing a massive electrification process to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and charging points in the EU is forecasted to grow over the next years, causing a significant increase in electricity consumption. At the same time, the increasing penetration of renewable and distributed energy resources brings significant new challenges to the electricity system operators, calling for solutions to ensure safe and reliable grid operation while deferring network investments.
FLOW aims at boosting the optimal integration of EVs by promoting a user-centric concept of electric mobility that provides benefits to the energy system across Europe. In line with the EU Parliament vote on banning new sales of fossil-fueled cars by 2035, FLOW will give a solid basis to enhance the upcoming mass penetration of EV transportation.
The solutions developed within FLOW will provide answers to the main challenges posed by the electrification of the transport sector to all actors involved, ranging from power distribution system operators, charging point operators, mobility service providers, and infrastructure manufacturers to final users. The main aim is to validate and quantify the benefits associated with EV charging flexibility to alleviate grid problems, to achieve energy decarbonisation while transitioning to a sustainable mobility model.
The initiative will test, validate, and enhance innovative smart charging and Vehicle-to-X business models, allowing to exchange energy among vehicles, buildings, and the grid. Two test beds will be developed in the Czech Republic and Ireland while three-large scale demonstration campaigns will be set in Italy, Denmark, and Spain.
The FLOW project focuses on seven core objectives and innovation pillars:
- Create and validate smart charging EV experiences that foster user’s active participation (User-centric design).
- Promote harmonisation, standardisation, and interoperability of solutions (Interoperability).
- Define and validate EV smart charging configurations, technologies, and strategies for a range of applications and use cases (Smart Charging).
- Deliver advanced digital-based tools for the planning, design, and operation of integrated charging solutions (Plan and Assess).
- Enhance EV flexibility to alleviate grid challenges by optimal actor orchestration (Optimal Operation).
- Demonstrate solutions in a wide range of scenarios and countries, engaging stakeholders, valorising flexibility, and fostering EV and RES penetration (Integration).
- Boost Replication and mass upscaling of EV/EVSE (Scalability and Replicability).
E.DSO and DSOs
DSOs are in the driver’s seat of e-mobility development as they connect the charging points to the grid. Smart and bi-directional charging of EVs, possibly coupled with local renewable sources and energy storage systems, offer to DSOs the opportunity to make the grid smarter and to optimise the use of flexibility and storage resources across the distribution network.
Building on the experiences of Platone and CoordiNet, FLOW will enable the whole energy systems to leverage EV potential to provide grid services, alleviate grid stability challenges, reduce operating costs for users and foster renewable sources penetration. FLOW will promote coordination between DSOs and all other actors in the flexibility value chain.
DSOs will play a key role in the testing and validation of FLOW solutions in its three demos which will investigate the coordinated provision of grid services from EVs, innovative business models, optimization of flexibility procurement from local sources, and harmonization of services for DSOs across the EU.
As a partner of the project, E.DSO will contribute to the harmonisation of existing regulations, standards, and state-of-the-art vehicle-grid integration. This analysis will facilitate the identification of barriers and drivers for all stakeholders in the value chain and, in turn, will facilitate the definition of an optimal strategy for the deployment and management of flexibility services provided by EVs. E.DSO will bring its expertise in the shaping of innovative regulatory solutions to enhance vehicle-grid integration. E.DSO will leverage its extensive network to enhance the dissemination and replication of FLOW results.