Smart Grid Contribution to Variable Renewable Energy

Globally, modernization of electrical grids is taking place alongside rapid deployment of these variable renewable resources (VRRs), although these two trends are not always coordinated.

The need for new balancing resources and for a “seamless grid” capable of integrating both large-scale and small distributed energy resources (DER) are among the driving forces of smart grid development. Smarter grids are an important enabling tool for achieving higher penetrations of VRR on transmission and distribution networks. Depending upon the relative share and geographic distribution of large-scale and DER resources, various technologies, regulations, and policies are required to support high levels of VRR generation. In this context, policy makers will benefit from an understanding of how smart grid technologies contribute to VRR integration, and all stakeholders will benefit from increased alignment between smart grid development roadmaps and national and regional visions for renewable energy development.

The objective of this report, authored by Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers, is to give insights for decision makers on the various contributions of smart grid systems in achieving VRR integration. A variety oftools and solutions exist for achieving high penetrations of VRR generation, and the smart grid solutions outlined in this report are considered alongside a range of integration best practices.

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