Integrating Variable Renewable Energy in Electric Power Markets: Best Practices from International Experience

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Many countries -- reflecting very different geographies, markets, and power systems -- are successfully managing high levels of variable renewable energy on the electric grid, including that from wind and solar energy. This study documents the diverse approaches to effective integration of variable renewable energy among six countries -- Australia (South Australia), Denmark, Germany, Ireland,Spain, and the United States (Western region-Colorado and Texas)-- and summarizes policy best practices that energy ministers and other stakeholders can pursue to ensure that electricity markets and power systems can effectively coevolve with increasing penetrations of variable renewable energy. Each country has crafted its own combination of policies, market designs, and system operations toachieve the system reliability and flexibility needed to successfully integrate renewables. Notwithstanding this diversity, the approaches taken by the countries studied all coalesce around five strategic areas: lead public engagement, particularly for new transmission; coordinate and integrate planning; develop rules for market evolution that enable system flexibility; expand access to diverseresources and geographic footprint of operations; and improve system operations. The ability to maintain a broad ecosystem perspective, to organize and make available the wealth of experiences, and to ensure a clear path from analysis to enactment should be the primary focus going forward.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages142
    StatePublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    For summary report see NREL/TP-6A00-53730.

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-6A20-53732


    • balancing authority areas
    • flexibility
    • grid integration
    • high penetration
    • planning
    • public engagement
    • system operation
    • systems integration
    • transmission
    • variable renewable energy
    • wind


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