Fast-growing renewable energy needs local approach

Because the average cost of land-based wind decreased by 35% while solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) dropped by almost 80% between 2008 and 2015, renewable power growth is now facing a new challenge that is to connect wind and solar (PV) to a stable power system.

According to an International Energy Agency (IEA)’s report, 15% of the electricity that could have been produced by wind turbines in China in 2015 was curtailed because of inadequate and insufficient power system’s integration. Now that wind and solar PV have become the fastest-growing sources of electricity, the IEA believes that the renewable energy sector that is likely to grow extensively in the coming years requires infrastructure, policies and markets upgrades in the power system.

A US-German study that analyzed why integrating wind and solar would cause challenges for existing power systems showed that the impacts of increasing wind and solar shares can become substantial, and increase with penetration, independently of mix and region. That’s why a global approach to the renewable energy sector would prove incomplete at best. A more local approach in accordance with the specifications of the local power system should thus be preferred, therefore increasing the need for local audits and expertise.