Decentral power producers such as solar panels & wind power have a positive impact on the environment. On the electricity grid, however, there impact is much less positive.
Since these sources are under the constant influence of the weather it is very hard to predict exactly how much they will produce at a certain moment in time. However, for a stable electricity grid you want to have the production and use in balance which is very hard this way.
One simple way to overcome this problem is by adding temporary storage facilities in the grid which can take up the power when there’s an excess and release it during periods of shortage.
At some points dedicated systems are built for this, but with the rise of Electric Vehicles an enormous amount of batteries are available for a large amount of time during the day (a car is used on average for 46 minutes per day according to this study). The only point is that you don’t want to have full batteries when you want to drive from home to work or vice versa, but for the rest of the day the car can be used for storage.
A couple of years ago a small pilot started in the city of Utrecht to test this concept. In the past year the first field trials were held with this concept of car batteries used for storage and now it has been decided to enlarge the project to the entire region where thousands of chargers will be transformed so they can be used for this concept.
Really cool to see that this new concept is now growing to a larger scale. Now if they would only switch to DC it would make it even better, but there should be something left to do in the coming years.