Flexible Grids for the Renewable Boom

Published on Friday, 7 March 2014

The development of wind and solar PV power technologies over the last few years has been impressive and has given a significant contribution to the transition to a low-carbon economy, but the right tools are needed in order to manage energy sources that offer unpredictable productions levels.

Their intermittent and variable nature weigh heavily on their effectiveness in production, adding uncertainty towards the reliability and the security of electricity system. Action needs to be taken in order for wind and solar PV power to be considered reliable and cost-effective in an environment that demands a growing share of renewable energy in the energy mix.

To this end, the priority is to create a more flexible electricity system, beginning with the distribution network. This is why Enel has long been committed to research into the development of smart grids and energy storage systems, both of which support intermittent energy sources and make them more cost-effective. 

This need to speed up development was recently discussed by the International Energy Agency, which in its recent study The Power of Transformation summarised the results of the integration into the grid of renewable energy in 15 countries across four continents.

The report analyses the overall economic impact of their integration into the network. The research assesses the cost, performance and effectiveness of the different technologies that govern demand and make the whole electricity system more flexible.