Right now, the few thousand Australians who own electric vehicles are not able to sell power back to the grid from their car batteries, or make them available to deliver essential grid services. One reason is that most EVs are not set up to do it. The second reason is that authorities have not get agreed on the rules, protocols and technical standards to make it happen. That may be about to change.

The Australian Energy Market Commission, which acts as the market rule-maker, says it is working on a number of different initiatives that will pave the way for vehicle-to-grid charging to become a reality, as well as allowing consumers to have multiple energy suppliers – for their home, their rooftop solar and their EVs. In the newly released Retail Energy Competition Review, the AEMC notes that a growing number of energy retailers are offering one-way services such as “smart charging” rates for topping up their EV batteries at times of low prices. The ultimate goal, however, is a true “two-sided” market, where EVs act as a significant resource for the grid, putting power back into the network at times of peak demand, and acting as a balancing tool for the market operator.

“Not only are the numbers of electric vehicles on our roads set to increase exponentially in the next decade, they will be central to the power system of the future,” AEMC chief executive Ben Barr said in a statement. “They can double as a home battery, earn money for households who sell battery power back to the grid and lower home energy bills. They can also be used to help manage supply and demand across the broader grid and cut emissions in the energy sector.” That potential […]