Digitalisation for energy management and smart charging

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation

Innovation 2


An important example of the use of digital technologies to manage energy is management systems for distributed energy resources (DERs) such as rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV), battery storage or EVs. DERs make it more challenging for grid operators to maintain power stability and reliability, but they also offer major opportunities for a more efficient and robust power system. For example, plugged-in EVs can help prevent expensive load peaks, reduce the need to expand the grid and make it easier to incorporate variable generation of renewable energy. However, more innovation is needed to develop energy management platforms and address issues of cybersecurity and data protection.


Management systems for DERs can provide significant value to utilities and grid operators, while also lowering costs for EV owners. These benefits will help accelerate the adoption of EVs.

BOX 3.8 BMW ChargeForward in California

On BMW’s ChargeForward smart charging platform, plugged-in vehicles send information about their state of charge to BMW. The system combines this information with data about the grid, the cost of charging and drivers’ preferences to calculate the optimal time to charge and control the charging time and rate. Owners can change their preferences using smartphones, for example, charging when costs are lowest or when renewable energy generation is highest. The longer a vehicle is plugged in, the more scope there is for adjusting or shifting the charge; this in turn increases the benefits to both the grid and customers.

Source: (BMW, 2020).