The state of California is exploring a potential solution to maintain its improved speed and performance in the power grid. One unconventional approach being considered is compelling owners of electric vehicles (EVs) to allow their cars to contribute to charging the grid.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recognizes the significant potential of EVs in serving as power grid backup generators. According to PG&E, the grid greatly benefits from utilizing these electric vehicles, which can be an invaluable resource.
PG&E envisions a future where everyone drives an EV, which can serve as a backup power option at home. Additionally, it can provide support to the grid during high-demand periods. Embracing this approach not only enhances electric reliability and climate resiliency but also boasts the advantage of clean-powered EVs. By tapping into the power of electric cars, the dependence on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels can be eliminated.
California, known for its commitment to green energy, has encountered challenges with rolling blackouts. In 2020, thousands of Californians experienced temporary power outages as the grid struggled to meet demand. To address this issue, PG&E's 2030 Climate Strategy Report aims to power at least 3 million EVs, equivalent to approximately 12,000 GWh of EV-related electric load. This integration of 2 million EVs in vehicle-grid applications not only supports electric reliability but also enhances climate resilience for PG&E customers.
However, it is worth noting that California may face difficulties in generating enough electricity to meet its forthcoming EV mandate. The Pacific Research Institute highlights that 12,000 GWh accounts for nearly 18% of the total renewable electricity generated in 2021. Even Governor Gavin Newsom has acknowledged that the state's power grid poses a liability concern. To compensate for the energy shortfall, California heavily relies on electricity imports despite its substantial oil reserves.
Data from the U.S. Department of Energy reveals that California experienced the highest number of power outages in the country last year, with 142 major events. This further underscores the urgency of addressing the state's power grid challenges to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy supply.
California is exploring measures to harness the potential of EVs in maintaining a robust power grid. By integrating EVs and developing a more resilient energy infrastructure, the state aims to maximize electric reliability, mitigate climate risks, and overcome power shortage vulnerabilities.