Chapter 5: Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies in Buildings and Cities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sustainable Energy Technologies, such as the solar, wind, and waterpower systems described in other chapters of this book, need to be integrated into our energy systems to expand access to energy while avoiding harmful effects on the environment. The existing utility system or 'grid' is a network that consists of components for generation, transmission, distribution, and control of electric power from producers (also called 'resources') to consumers (also called 'loads' or 'demand'). Public safety necessitates that the grid be reliable, and public policy requires that grid power be affordable and broadly accessible. Much of the existing power grid was constructed before the advent of modern information technology for controls and automation. The existing grid is facing new challenges related to increases in power demand, complexity in managing more diverse and distributed resources, power quality issues introduced by 'non-linear' loads (that have parasitic inductance and capacitance like LED lights or computers), physical and cybersecurity threats, and challenges to the existing economic model of costs and revenues. Increases in power demand include not only growth in population and per-capita electricity use, but also call for electricity to meet the need for heating and transportation as well. Electric vehicles are a rapidly growing example of this electrification of previously fossil-fueled uses. [Your author's Chevrolet Volt vehicle uses about the same amount of electricity as his house, around 300 kWh/month. Fortunately, both are served with solar photovoltaics (PVs)]. Therefore, there is an immediate need for improvement toward a reliable, self-regulating, efficient, and economical grid system that will allow the integration of renewable distributed power generation.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSustainable Energy Technologies
EditorsE. Rincon-Mejia, A. de las Heras
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5C00-73082


  • energy systems integration
  • solar
  • water power
  • wind


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