A number of large-scale studies have been conducted in the United States and Europe that examine the ability for electric grids to accommodate higher penetrations of variable renewable energy generation. Renewable sources, such as wind and solar, can pose difficulties because their output can vary according to seasonal and daily patterns and be uncertain due to changes in the weather.

While the operational changes that are needed to accommodate higher penetrations of renewable energy vary depending on the characteristics of a particular grid, there are a number of common lessons from large integration studies. In general, large-scale integration studies in Europe and the United States find that high penetrations of renewable generation are technically feasible with operational changes and increased access to transmission.

This paper describes other key findings such as the need for fast markets, large balancing areas, system flexibility, and the use of advanced forecasting....(Read more...)