Flexible Power Delivery Systems: An Overview of Policies and Regulations and Expansion Planning and Market Analysis for the United States and Europe

With the changing dynamics of electric grid systems around the world, decision-makers – both institutional and technological – are facing numerous new challenges to operating, planning, and expanding their systems.

New technologies are challenging conventional regulatory regimes and new policies and consumer demands are similarly challenging the currently available technologies. For example, as the demand for cleaner energy sources gains ground all over the globe, technological improvements are necessary to integrate large amounts of variable energy sources such as solar and wind into various electricity systems, while ensuring acceptable levels of reliability and security of the system. Similarly, as consumers engage more with electricity systems, demand profiles and consumer choice, among other demand-side elements, are also challenging our system, providing opportunities for demand-side management and related technologies. In this rapidly changing landscape, regulators and policy-makers must consider how consumer participation and new technologies interact with the market place.

This discussion paper from ISGAN Annex 6 Power Transmission & Distribution Systems Tasks 1 and 2 focuses on achieving flexible power delivery by examining the policies and regulations, as well as expansion, planning, and market analysis for the United States and Europe. This review looks at how policies and regulations have changed to accommodate new developments in the operation, planning, and market areas of each grid system. Additionally, it highlights certain efforts undertaken to better understand and implement the policy and regulatory changes in these processes as both the United States and Europe work towards achieving a modernized grid system, specifically including the increased deployment and use of smart grid technologies, e.g., synchrophasor measurement technologies, net metering, distributed generation, energy storage, advanced metering infrastructure.

About ISGAN Discussion Papers: ISGAN discussion papers are meant as input documents to the global discussion about smart grids. Each is a statement by the author(s) regarding a topic of international interest. They reflect works in progress in the development of smart grids in the different regions of the world. Their aim is not to communicate a final outcome or to advise decision-makers, rather to lay the ground work for further research and analysis.

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