Integrating Variable Renewable Energy: Challenges and Solutions

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In the U.S., a number of utilities are adopting higher penetrations of renewables, driven in part by state policies. While power systems have been designed to handle the variable nature of loads, the additional supply-side variability and uncertainty can pose new challenges for utilities and system operators. However, a variety of operational and technical solutions exist to help integrate higherpenetrations of wind and solar generation. This paper explores renewable energy integration challenges and mitigation strategies that have been implemented in the U.S. and internationally, including forecasting, demand response, flexible generation, larger balancing areas or balancing area cooperation, and operational practices such as fast scheduling and dispatch.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-60451


  • demand response
  • dispatch
  • flexible generation
  • forecasting
  • integration
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • renewables
  • transmission
  • variable generation


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