Clean Grid Vision: A U.S. Perspective - Chapter 5. Global Power Market Trends

David Hurlbut, Ella Zhou

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The evolution of the electricity sector toward competitive modern markets is occurring over a long period and responding to rapid changes in technologies, business models, and other market factors. No reformed power market anywhere in the world looks the same today as it did a decade ago. Technology has enabled some of the evolution, but perhaps it is more important that people and institutions learn from experience how to make markets better over time. Governments still have an important role—not as the authority controlling prices, but as the authority safeguarding the integrity of the economic processes that create prices in response to supply and demand and ensure reliability and other objectives are met. More VRE resources will change market conditions, but they will not change market fundamentals. Prices provide important signals for new investments and how the grid operates—including new technologies and processes discussed elsewhere in this report. If poor market design or the exercise of market power by a large entity distort these signals, outcomes will cease to be efficient and the public will bear the additional cost. Fundamentally, prices reflect supply, demand, and the cost of technological options.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5C00-78646


  • Clean Grid Vision
  • power market
  • renewable integration


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