ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN CALIFORNIA: OFFSETTING INCREASED ELECTRICITY DEMAND WITH PHOTOVOLTAICS AND ENERGY STORAGE
Callander, Jayne H
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California has set a state goal to renewably generate 50% of its electricity by the year 2030. Although the state is currently on track to produce 30% renewable energy by 2020, this goal will become progressively difficult due to the states increased adoption of electric vehicles. The rate of new vehicle registration growth for plug in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles increased in 2016 to an average of 12%. This increase in electricity demand will affect state generation capabilities and exacerbate existing electricity grid infrastructure concerns. This report hypothesizes that electric vehicle penetration will continue to expand in the state, and makes the assumption that the state will have 12,807,387 electric vehicles which is the same number it currently has households. Using this assumed density of the state’s electric vehicle market, this report will attempt to determine how this will impact the state’s electricity demand, and how this changed demand can be offset in a sustainable manner through photovoltaic and energy storage solutions. Given the constraints utilized in this study, the state’s overall electricity demand would increase 14% with 12,807,387 electric vehicles which could be counteracted by installing 12 million 2.0kw photovoltaic systems residentially or of 232, 100 megawatt (MW) utility photovoltaic installations. California’s infrastructure may be able to handle the demand from this increased electric vehicle density as proposed above, but it would not be able to accommodate this proposed photovoltaic load increase. To ensure the existing grid remains functional, it is necessary to tie storage into the grid on either a residential or utility scale when adding any additional renewable generation sources. The state must furthermore continue to invest in incentives for electric vehicles, photovoltaic systems, and battery storage to ensure the aforementioned density of electric vehicles occurs.