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Sense and Singularity – Important New Insights to Electrification and Decarbonization

Current peak demand management strategies DO NOT necessarily optimize decarbonization. In fact, there are instances where it can increase the grid’s carbon footprint! That is a key finding from the forty-four-state research conducted by Sense Labs and Singularity Energy with support from UC Davis. This study employed state-of-the-art sensing devices and the powerful Carbonara analytical tool to convolve over 100,000 EV charging sessions with the time-based fuel mix of power grids across the nation to characterize carbon intensity for a wide range of EV charging profiles.

The graph below paints the picture quite effectively. “Charge Now” bars represent total carbon emissions if vehicle owners charge without regard to electric rates. “TOU” refers to vehicle owners charging based on conventional Time-Of-Use Rate strategies that are today used to manage peak demand. Note that vehicle owners on the CASIO (California), BPAT (Bonneville – Northwest US) and FPC (Duke – Southeast) grids will increase their carbon footprint with TOU Charging. The graph shows that only a real-time carbon monitoring and optimization (“Carbon Optimized”)program produces significant, across-the-board reductions. Suffice it to say, such programs only get more impactful and vital as “electrification” and renewable power proliferates these grids.

The study delivers and reinforces several important messages to folks developing and implementing climate action plans. These include:

  • A plan that incorporates real-time monitoring and analytics has a much greater likelihood of meeting its goals.

  • Simply introducing smart meters and applying conventional Time-of-Use algorithms is insufficient for implementing effective and enduring decarbonization strategies.

  • Early and thoughtful measures to build a framework that enables phased “automation” of electrical services offers the lowest risk, fastest path to successful outcomes.

The link to the full report is here.

If you represent a community, business or agency looking for affordable and effectives ways to approach, enhance or implement its climate action planning process by employing existing and emerging Climate Technologies – please reach out to Beacon Climate Innovations and inquire about the Resilient Energy Infrastructure Consortium (REIC) at Greentown Labs that it spearheads.

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