General Motors, Ford, Google, SunPro, and Sunrun are working together on standards for expanding the use of virtual power plants (VPPs). Those systems will help fortify existing power grids when the energy supply is depleted or overtaxed.
A VPP is a grid-integrated aggregation of many individual distributed energy sources (DERS) such as such as electric vehicles, smart thermostats, solar photovoltaic panels, heat pumps, and battery energy storage systems. When advanced software pools those decentralized resources, with permission from customers, they can react to electricity shortages and mitigate problems.
VPPs are positioned for explosive growth in the United States, where the 2021 Inflation Reduction Act has created or enlarged tax incentives for electric cars, electric water heaters, solar panels and other sustainable devices.