Wind and solar PV have become among the cheapest options for meeting power demand in a growing number of countries globally. As these variable renewable energy (VRE) technologies differ from conventional generation technologies, power systems will need to adapt in line with their ongoing build-out.
But the need for change is incremental and system-specific. Making the right changes when they are needed avoids both overspending and delays. To help policy makers understand what challenges to expect, when to expect them, and how policies can set the right pace of change in power systems, the IEA has released a new Insight Paper on Getting Wind and Sun onto the Grid.
The report identifies four phases of variable renewable energy (VRE) integration, each with certain characteristics and operational priorities. Building on existing cases, the study identifies solutions that different countries have pursued as they decarbonise their energy supply.