Flexibility in 21st Century Power Systems (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Flexibility of operation--the ability of a power system to respond to change in demand and supply--is a characteristic of all power systems. Flexibility is especially prized in twenty-first century power systems, with higher levels of grid-connected variable renewable energy (primarily, wind and solar). Sources of flexibility exist--and can be enhanced--across all of the physical and institutional elements of the power system, including system operations and markets, demand side resources and storage; generation; and transmission networks. Accessing flexibility requires significant planning to optimize investments and ensure that both short- and long-time power system requirements are met.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-6A20-63021


  • 21st century power systems
  • demand side management
  • energy planning
  • energy storage
  • flexibility of operation
  • generation
  • grid connection
  • power systems
  • renewable energy (RE)
  • system operations
  • transmission networks
  • variable renewable energy


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