Achieving a 100% Renewable Grid: Operating Electric Power Systems with Extremely High Levels of Variable Renewable Energy

Benjamin Kroposki, Yingchen Zhang, Vahan Gevorgian, Paul Denholm, Brian Hodge, Brian Johnson, Bryan Hannegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

964 Scopus Citations

Abstract

What does it mean to achieve a 100% renewable grid? Several countries already meet or come close to achieving this goal. Iceland, for example, supplies 100% of its electricity needs with either geothermal or hydropower. Other countries that have electric grids with high fractions of renewables based on hydropower include Norway (97%), Costa Rica (93%), Brazil (76%), and Canada (62%). Hydropower plants have been used for decades to create a relatively inexpensive, renewable form of energy, but these systems are limited by natural rainfall and geographic topology. Around the world, most good sites for large hydropower resources have already been developed. So how do other areas achieve 100% renewable grids? Variable renewable energy (VRE), such as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, will be a major contributor, and with the reduction in costs for these technologies during the last five years, large-scale deployments are happening around the world.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7866938
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Power and Energy Magazine
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-67437

Keywords

  • grid
  • integration
  • inverter
  • variable renewable energy
  • VRE

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