Re: Smart meters and electricity storage
If time shifting electricity with batteries was cost effective if would already be done and it isn't except by a few morons drinking Musk's Kool-aid.
The system price (what suppliers pay generators) varies hugely, by time and location, and what most of us pay is a blended flat rate based on average demand profiles. For wholesale market participants, there's times and places where electricity can be free (even negatively priced under some government schemes), conversely peak winter demand prices (including out of balance penalties and DNO peak pricing) can be up to £50 per kWh that you're charged 12p for. This means that there's ample opportunity to provide peaking and demand response services from batteries, and there's several hundred MW of battery capability already connected in the UK That can be for demand response, for "behind the meter" use to avoid peak customer charges, and distribution grids are also using batteries to smooth off peaks and avoid the need for building expensive new power lines, such as the 10 MWh Leighton Buzzard installation. With battery prices falling due to rising volumes, stronger supply chains and R&D, the commercial opportunities are growing very fast.
If I had an EV I sure wouldn't be looking to wear out the batteries even quicker by using to prop up the grid
See my comment above. Because most users need the EV fully charged in the morning, the grid support would be for quite low levels of discharge, with rules along the lines "battery available if grid connected between 19:00 and 06:00; drawn down not more than 10% of maximum capacity; no draw down if battery below 30% maximum charge; draw down only permitted if no evening/night car use likely; battery charge status to be user-specified minimum or default 85% of full charge by 06:00".
Rules like that will minimise the user inconvenience, and careful charge, discharge management will extend the service life of the battery. I would expect all battery owners to be able to opt out of such a scheme, but I'd want to be included not for any financial reward, just to keep the battery optimised. If you lease your car or the battery, you might not find you have a choice!
not without the price of mains electricity being artificially hiked much more than it is now.
I'm not sure the hiking is "artificial". It is a real world outcome of government energy policies, so that in the UK, all the pell-mell rush for solar, wind and new nuclear (plus grid reinforcement to support the renewables) and this means that prices will for the most part continue to rise for the next decade unless government policy abandons the obsession with climate change and renewables. In rough terms, 40% of your total electricity bill is now due to these policy costs. Pick your side: If you're a climate change enthusiast, you have to welcome government actions and the price rises. If you're not convinced by the full logic-set of the climate change arguments, then you;d want government to change policy, and for the construction of a fleet of new baseload and mid-merit CCGT power plants that would be far cheaper than follies like Hinkley Point, and would provide reliable power unlike wind and solar. Nuclear would be a good compromise for both sides to provide baseload and high load factor plant, except that the supply chain and regulators have made it unaffordably expensive.