Leading power markets prove renewables can provide secure energy supply
Nine power markets sourced an exceptionally large amount of their energy from wind and solar generation last year without suffering any supply difficulties.
A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) highlights how, contrary to encountering grid problems, these markets have some of the most robust power systems in the world.
They include those found in Denmark, South Australia, Uruguay, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Texas, California, and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, sourcing 14-53% of their energy from wind and solar last year.
“Renewables are being integrated in these states and nations at levels in excess of 10 times global averages,” IEEFA energy finance consultant, Gerard Wynn, said.
“These renewable energy leaders have raced ahead of much of the rest of the world in proving how power grids can be readily sourced with up to 50% of their energy from wind and solar.”
The nine leading markets’ renewable energy shares are show below:
The IEEFA said these markets provide “compelling examples of the fast-moving evolution of electricity generation”, and stand in stark contrast to recent energy policies put forth by the US government.
It was found that they used several methods to integrate high levels of wind and solar energy, including:
• Timely transmission system investment to reduce power losses and congestion
• Better cross-border interconnection and cooperation to access cost-effective backup
• Prioritising flexible generation assets to balance wind and solar power
• Market reforms to incentivise flexible backup supplies and drive efficiencies
• Support for demand-side response measures to minimise growth of reserve capacity
• Better wind and solar forecasting capabilities to help operators manage grids.
“Change is happening at breakneck speed,” Wynn continued. “We draw attention to actions that system operators can consider immediately, all of which can help ease the integration process and assure security of supply.
“Other states and countries can follow the lead of policymakers, investors, and regulators, according to their circumstances, and so avoid radical redesigns of their power markets.”
Image credit: iStock
Graph credit: IEEFA
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM