IEEE-USA Blogs from Copenhagen

Congressional Fellow Thomas Lee hits the ground running

1 min read

You can read about the action in and around the global climate conference, plus look at some nice photos being posted in real time, if you log into Congressional Fellow Thomas Lee's blogsite. Lee, who's been working in Washington for IEEE-USA, the volunteer-driven policy arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has been writing about the challenges of covering such a huge, amorphous and fast-moving event, as well as the event itself. A recent post discusses the flap over a leaked "Danish draft" treaty that, according to England's left-leaning Guardian, would give developing countries a raw deal.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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