Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) are currently the fastest-growing sources of electricity globally. A “next generation” phase of deployment is emerging, in which wind and solar PV are technologically mature and economically affordable.
The success of variable renewable energy (VRE) is also bringing new challenges to the fore. Electricity generation from both technologies is constrained by the varying availability of wind and sunshine. This can make it difficult to maintain the necessary balance between electricity supply and consumption at all times.
As these variable renewables enter this next generation of deployment, the issue of system and market integration becomes a critical priority for renewables policy and energy policy more broadly. The paper highlights that this will require strategic action in three areas:
- System-friendly deployment, aiming to maximise the net benefit of wind and solar power for the entire system
- Improved operating strategies, such as advanced renewable energy forecasting and enhanced scheduling of power plants
- Investment in additional flexible resources, comprising demand-side resources, electricity storage, grid infrastructure and flexible generation
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