New Study Finds that EV Charge Automation Could Reduce Carbon Impact by up to 14% in U.S. and by 43% in California
A new study from Sense and Singularity Energy has demonstrated the potential for significant carbon reductions from electric vehicle (EV) charging using a combination of smart home automation and location- and time-based carbon emissions data from the power grid. The study found that by automating charging to minimize carbon impact, carbon emissions from EV charging could be reduced 8-14% on average across the U.S.
The potential reductions in California are more dramatic, with a potential for 43% carbon savings. California’s grid relies on renewable energy for nearly half of its electricity, much of it from low-carbon sources such as solar and wind, which contribute to significant variations in carbon intensity, a measure of carbon emissions per unit of energy consumed. As states increase their reliance on renewable energy sources, their variability will increase, too, offering similar opportunities to shift usage to times when carbon intensity is lowest.
Carbon reductions from automated EV charging could have a significant impact on reaching carbon emissions goals to slow climate change, and while EV charging is the most obvious case, similar opportunities for savings apply to other large loads in the home. The best opportunities for load shaping are activities that can be scheduled flexibly, like running a dishwasher or washing machine during overnight hours to have clean clothes and dishes ready when they’re needed in the morning. For these cases, automation can provide the right balance of meeting consumer needs and optimizing cost, carbon emissions, and constraints of the grid.
The study examined consumers’ EV charging patterns using over 100,000 sessions of in-field EV charging data and time-based carbon intensity data for 30 major regional grid balancing authorities for utilities. It found that charging dynamically to minimize carbon utilization was consistently more effective at reducing carbon than Time of Use rates.
The results show that smart home automation can dynamically adjust energy usage to address both grid constraints and carbon emissions goals. A separate study of 1100 California homes conducted by Sense found that 55% of electricity usage in the evening time frame could be shifted to other times during the day or reduced. Using an automated, dynamic approach, utilities can incentivize customers to reduce peak emissions by shifting their activities, including EV charging, similar to the current incentives to reduce peak demand.
Carbon reductions are influenced by the regional mix of energy sources, with some regions offering a potential for higher reductions because of greater variability of carbon intensity in their fuel sources. Among the top 10 balancing authorities, CAISO (California Independent System Operator) had the highest variation in carbon intensity at 307%, followed by SWPP (Southwest Power Pool) at 259%, ERCOT Electric Reliability Council of Texas) at 197% and BPAT (Bonneville Power Authority Transmission) at 181%. For more details, see the complete study.
The analysis showed that most regions can achieve significant carbon reductions by automating EV charging to take advantage of the cleanest energy sources as they come onto the grid. As more states and regions increase the share of energy produced by renewable sources, the carbon savings potential will increase across the country.
Said Sense CEO Mike Phillips, “This EV study is an example of what can be done as we add intelligence to home infrastructure. As we work on decarbonizing the grid, because of the increased use of intermittent low-carbon energy sources, it is becoming increasingly important to influence not only how much power is being used, but when it is used. Fortunately, there are many things in the home where people only care about the result – not when the energy is used. EV charging is a great example, but automation can extend to other key consumers of energy as we build intelligence into the infrastructure of the home.”
Said Wenbo Shi, CEO and co-founder of Singularity Energy: “This study demonstrates the potential of data-driven carbon intelligence to improve energy management strategies and cost-effectively reduce carbon emissions. We are filling a gap between decarbonization targets measured in tons of carbon and existing energy management strategies that are still kWh and cost driven. There is a massive opportunity to apply the technology to EVs and other smart devices at scale to rapidly accelerate the transition towards a clean energy future.”
Implications for Utilities’ Demand Management Strategies
With EV adoption predicted to grow rapidly, propelled in part by the Biden administration’s plan to build out a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations, utilities are predicting big increases in electricity usage from EV charging over the coming decade. At the same, aggressive carbon reduction goals at the state and federal levels have mandated that utilities must reduce carbon emissions.
While meeting CO2 reduction goals and anticipating new energy loads from electric vehicles, utilities need to keep pace with more intermittent sources of power. The ability to jointly optimize for CO2, cost, and grid constraints can provide the best performance at a system level. Dynamic signals from the power grid combined with EV charging automation could be used to inform utilities’ incentive programs, influence consumer behavior, modulate peak demand as EV adoption grows, and reduce carbon.
About the Study
The study examined 100,000 sessions of in-field electric vehicle charging data and analyzed the location- and time-based fuel mix of the power grid to characterize the carbon intensity of common EV charging patterns. It drew on anonymized Sense home energy data and high-quality carbon intensity data from Singularity Energy’s Carbonara platform. Previous analyses of carbon intensity have relied on annual averages that can be two or three years old. Combining these real-time data sets, the study simulated EV charging for carbon intensity to identify carbon reductions. For more details, get the complete study.
SustainCERT launches innovative solution for accurate verification, tracking and co-claiming of GHG Scope 3 emission reductions
SustainCERT, a global leader in climate impact verification, has launched a pioneering platform that will accurately verify and track the decarbonization impact of Scope 3 (value chain) projects.
A world first, this platform of software and services combines climate and environmental accounting expertise with industry leading technology to accurately verify, track and co-claim emission reductions and removals from a value chain project (also known as ‘an intervention’). This concept will allow companies to co-invest in reductions and removals in their supply chains, share costs of decarbonization and scale action faster.
This solution will help companies tackle the largest source of their carbon footprint – value chain or Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. These account for 75% of a company’s carbon footprint on average (rising to as much as 99% for some sectors). The lack of clear guidance and rules around claiming, the complexities of many supply chains and the challenge of collecting on-the-ground data are some of the issues preventing the acceleration of value chain decarbonization to date.
The platform provides companies with the ability to account and claim GHG impact from interventions in their value chain. It also enables the transfer of GHG impacts – verified by SustainCERT’s auditors – between supply chain partners and other eligible entities. This allows ‘co-claiming’ of shared Scope 3 intervention outcomes, which when verified can be used to show progress towards reporting a company’s Science-Based Target Initiative commitments.
To provide transparency, information on the intervention is available on a public database that provides details on validated and verified projects as well as information on impacts that have been claimed from those projects.
Marion Verles, CEO of SustainCERT said:
“We need significant progress in Scope 3 action to address emissions to reduce global warming as called for in the Paris Agreement. Substantial scaling of market and policy mechanisms that incentivize decarbonization – and collaboration between market players – is key. The regulations to drive Scope 3 action are increasing – but we need scalable action now.”
“We have been committed to bringing credibility to climate action since 2018, and we are excited to offer corporations the ability to be recognized for their co-investments in the same value chain decarbonization program, while maintaining environmental integrity and ensuring the intervention impact reporting is accurate, credible, and representative of on-the-ground impact.”
“We believe this will be a game changer in Scope 3 action and we look forward to working with companies to credibly scale their value chain climate impact action.”
SustainCERT has been innovating digital verification solutions for value chains and carbon markets since its inception and this new offer builds on its established Scope 3 services. SustainCERT supports corporates pursuing Scope 3 impact verification and its emission factor software accounts and tracks the impacts from climate action.
It also builds on leading guidance from the Value Change Initiative, a multi-stakeholder forum that brings together some of the world’s largest companies, leading civil society actors and internationally recognized frameworks to collectively focus on defining best practice for Scope 3 emission reductions at scale.
Notes to editors
SustainCERT is a climate impact verifier, bringing credibility to climate action. Our offer combines established independent climate expertise with innovative, cutting-edge digital verification solutions.
We provide impact validation and verification services for carbon markets and value chains. Founded as an independent standalone organisation in 2018 by Gold Standard, SustainCERT’s approach aligns with and contributes to leading international sustainability frameworks – including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Gold Standard and Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
In 2023 SustainCERT is launching the world’s first software platform for digital verification and management of climate claims across carbon markets and value chains. Verifying against globally recognized standards, the digitization of this process will accelerate the speed, accuracy and quality of data measurement used for carbon credits and GHG impacts.
SustainCERT is also the co-founder of the Value Change Initiative, a multi-stakeholder forum bringing together some of the world’s largest companies, leading civil society actors and internationally recognized frameworks to collectively focus on defining best practice for Scope 3 emission reductions at scale.
Volvo Group partners with Vattenfall to secure long-term renewable electricity for its operations
Amid increasing demand for clean energy, Volvo Group has today signed a long-term agreement with Vattenfall, the largest producer of renewable electricity in Sweden. The agreement means that Volvo Group is committed to buying 50% (~230GWh/year) of the renewable electricity produced at Bruzaholm wind park in Sweden, over a 10-year period starting in the last quarter of 2025.
This partnership with Vattenfall is a step forward in the Group’s commitment to reach a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) value chain by 2040 and achieve the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement. Containing 21 wind turbines with associated facilities, construction of the Bruzaholm wind park is scheduled to start in summer 2023 and to be ready for commission by the autumn of 2025 when the agreement begins.
Volvo Group is on a growth journey offering customers sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions with electric products and biofuels as key enablers to reduce GHG emissions. In parallel, Volvo Group is working on reducing the greenhouse gas footprint from its own operations and across the entire value chain, step-by-step, together with its partners. Part of this involves replacing remaining fossil energy sources in its operations with renewable low GHG intensive energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower and enabling the societal transition to renewable electricity. By diversifying through various renewable sources this agreement adds capabilities for Volvo Group’s continued transition to net zero.
“This partnership marks an additional step in continuously reducing the environmental impact from our own industrial activities. The agreement signals our commitment to prioritize low-carbon investments, source renewable energy, and take climate action across everything we do,” says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo Group.
“The industry’s energy transition is taking place here and now – the key to success is collaboration, no one can tackle the challenge completely on their own. Today’s agreement is an example of how Volvo Group has chosen to be at the forefront of its electrification and climate work. We are pleased to be able to support them on their journey. By expanding fossil-free energy sources, collaborating to electrify processes that are currently based on fossil fuels, using our fossil-free electricity and developing charging infrastructure, we can contribute to the phasing out of fossil fuels in the entire transport sector,” says Vattenfall’s CEO and President Anna Borg.
Vattenfall is a leading European energy company, which for more than 100 years has electrified industries, supplied energy to people’s homes and modernised our way of living through innovation and cooperation. Vattenfall now want to make fossil-free living possible within one generation. That’s why the company is driving the transition to a sustainable energy system through initiatives in renewable production and climate smart energy solutions for customers. Vattenfall employ approximately 20,000 people and have operations mainly in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the UK. Vattenfall is owned by the Swedish state.
LONGi looks to create a strong voice across the globe in pursuit of a sustainable green, low-carbon lifestyle
With climate change an increasingly pressing issue, countries worldwide are accelerating decarbonization through renewable energy solutions. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) predicts that global photovoltaic capacity will reach 14,000GW by 2050, ushering in a green energy revolution that will transform people’s lifestyles.
LONGi is at the forefront of research into how to utilize PV technology in different scenarios, while at the same time exploring ways to effectively bring about a greener, low-carbon, sustainable society.
The company’s commitment to driving forward its green agenda with innovative PV technology has never been better illustrated than by the introduction of Hi-MO 6, its first module designed exclusively for the global distributed consumer market, thus catering to the needs of millions of energy consumers worldwide.
Hi-MO 6 is a new generation of module based on high-efficiency HPBC cell technology and is presented as a series made up of four differentiated products – the Explorer, the Scientist, the Guardian and the Artist – each of which delivers enhanced aesthetics, performance, reliability and intelligent optimization to meet varying scenarios.
The module has become a high-end solution designed for home power generation. Its first shipments worldwide were to the Nordic market and Hi-MO 6 has now been installed on homes in Sweden and Finland. From Stockholm to Helsinki and beyond, the module represents the ideal solution for clients requiring a better energy yield performance and enhanced aesthetics.
Efficient BIPV solutions integrated into everyday life
Buildings account for a large proportion of energy consumed around the world due to population growth, leading to the significant greenhouse effect that is behind global warming. LONGi is constantly seeking innovative ways of integrating PV technology into building design, enabling individuals to adopt a low-carbon lifestyle.
The application of LONGi technology has become an integral part of daily life, including at subways, stations and airports. Collaboration with Center Int has also seen the upgrade of the main venues for the Bo’ao Forum for Asia, with the installation of innovative BIPV solutions on roofs of buildings merging PV technology with architectural design. The integration of BIPV has enabled the Bo’ao Forum to adopt a sustainable approach to hosting future annual events, whereas on China’s southern island of Hainan, BIPV equipped roofs generate an annual 5 million kWh of green electricity.
A green lifestyle through cross-border cooperation
In addition to technology breakthroughs, LONGi is making other efforts to introduce green energy and practices into daily life, encouraging more people to embrace green activities.
The company has recently entered into a global strategic partnership with tennis’ high profile ATP Tour, launching as its first initiative the innovative PLAN GET (Green, Energy, Tours).“Breathe New Life into Old Items” will be the starting point for PLAN GET, involving the placement of pop-up green collectors at each recycling point at selected tournaments.
LONGi aims to attract increasing numbers of people to join its initiatives, taking advantage of the benefits of low-carbon living while enjoying the fun at PLAN GET events around the world. The partnerships with the ATP Tour and the Bo’ao Forum are just the beginning, with the company continuing to explore further zero carbon projects in different fields.
Founded in 2000, LONGi is committed to being the world’s leading solar technology company, focusing on customer-driven value creation for full scenario energy transformation.
Under its mission of ‘making the best of solar energy to build a green world’, LONGi has dedicated itself to technology innovation and established five business sectors, covering mono silicon wafers cells and modules, commercial & industrial distributed solar solutions, green energy solutions and hydrogen equipment. The company has honed its capabilities to provide green energy and has more recently, also embraced green hydrogen products and solutions to support global zero carbon development. www.longi.com/en
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