Since I was a child, one of my favorite dreams was about time travel. Much to the chagrin of my history teacher, I was not interested in the past: I just wanted to go fast forward and see how things will be. Maybe like “The Jetsons” on TV? Or like “Back to the Future” at the cinema? Or like “Time Machine” in the library?
It’s amazing to see how today we are so close to living in such an incredible reality. I guess Jules Verne would have felt the same excitement, if he could see most of his fantastic ideas becoming a reality in just a few decades.
Here some examples.
You are enjoying your dinner with family, when a storm leaves your house with no power. No worries, your EV (Electric Vehicle) car will supply emergency power from its battery. It’s not sci-fi, it is V2H (Vehicle to Home) technology.
Let’s go a step further.
The morning after you go to work, and plug your EV in your company car park. Your employer uses the aggregate energy from multiple EVs to run the building – and you get paid for it. Same when you go to the supermarket. This is called V2B (Vehicle to Building) technology. I know, you probably will envy your neighbor because he is a truck driver – larger battery packs generate greater revenue.
At the end, your EV car (more expensive than a gasoline model) reduces buildings’ energy costs. So you have a trendy car in your garage, while you pay less for the electricity bill – cool, isn’t it?
Because you’re smart, you recharge your EV at night – when prices are lower – and then sell energy back to the grid during high demand periods.
Don’t feel greedy, it’s not just a matter of money: V2G (Vehicle to Grid) stabilizes the grid, solving instabilities due to intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar, and making energy always available. That’s a real Smart Grid !
But it does not stop with cars.
And everything accelerates the spread of intelligent building energy management systems.
Pike Research forecasts that annual investments will grow to more than $76 million worldwide by 2020.
Now let’s go back to the future, when everything I described above will be a standard in several countries, something normal in our everyday life.
What prevents us to connect all grids globally, and provide a watt saved in our house, our office, our supermarket, etc to the Base of the Pyramid in Guinea-Bissau, Bangladesh, Honduras, …?
“Achieve more while using less of our common planet” is not an empty/greenwashing catch-phrase, it’s a pragmatic holistic approach.
There’s no doubt these are exciting times to live in.