The roadmap envisions a transformation performed over three phases or regimes:
- An initial phase with variable generation contributing up to about 10% of the energy demand, characterized by relatively mild changes to conventional power system operations and structures;
- A dynamic middle phase up to about 50% penetration by variable resources characterized by phasing out conventional generation and a concerted effort to wring flexibility from existing infrastructure; and
- The high penetration phase that inevitably addresses how power systems operate over longer periods of weeks or months when variable generation will be in either short supply, or overabundant supply.
For this work we gathered opinions by a dedicated power system flexibility advisory panel, through two meetings and an online survey. This document is preliminary and ongoing piece of work and subject to review by the advisory panel. Comments, suggestions and edits are welcome. The final report will be issued after the incorporation of the comments from the ongoing review round.
The work presented here is organized in five chapters:
Chapter 1 (Introduction) describes the general debate related to the needed transformation of power systems in order to accommodate extra high levels of variable renewables and how this is directly related to increasing the power system flexibility. Further, we explain the notion of flexibility and discuss the status in today’s systems.
Chapter 2 (Power System Flexibility Vision) analyses the seven key elements for the transition to reliable, low-cost power systems dependent primarily on variable renewable resources. In particular, we discuss the role of demand, the changes in power markets, the control of variable renewable generators for the provision of grid support services, the mechanisms needed to appropriately reflect diversity-related benefits , the role of bulk energy storage, the smart grid evolution, and the management of surplus energy events.
Chapter 3 (Key Flexibility Challenges) discusses the key challenges for the transition to systems relying primarily to variable resources. We present the three development regimes based on penetration levels of variable resources and map the challenges on each regime.
Chapter 4 (Policy and Institutional Frameworks) dives deeper on the policy and institutional frameworks needed to address the challenges in each of the development regimes. For each regime we summarise the needed actions in comprehensive tables (Flexibility Roadmap Policy Checklists).
Chapter 5 (Roadmap summary) presents a roadmap that consists of the actions needed on the transition path towards ultra high penetration levels of variable renewables.
Download the Power System Flexibility Roadmap