Energy Imbalance Markets (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


The anticipated increase in variable renewable generation, such as wind and solar power, over the next several years has raised concerns about how system operators will maintain balance between electricity production and demand in the Western Interconnection, especially in its smaller balancing authority areas (BAAs). Given renewable portfolio standards in the West, it is possible that more than50 gigawatts of wind capacity will be installed by 2020. Significant quantities of solar generation are likely to be added as well. Meanwhile, uncertainties about future load growth and challenges siting new transmission and generation resources may add additional stresses on the Western Interconnection of the future. One proposed method of addressing these challenges is an energy imbalancemarket (EIM). An EIM is a means of supplying and dispatching electricity to balance fluctuations in generation and load. It aggregates the variability of generation and load over multiple balancing areas (BAs).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-56236


  • balancing authority areas
  • energy imbalance markets
  • load growth
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • renewables
  • solar
  • transmission
  • variable generation
  • Western Interconnection
  • wind


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