Thursday, November 28, 2013

High level reports on Bulk Power Systems Coping with Changing Supply

There are two new reports that may be of interest to those following the energy sector, and particularly operators of bulk power systems (BPS) coping with the stresses on that sector from the changing supply composition.

"Key Findings" overview from the IEA:

Graphic from IEA document
Electricity markets will have to become more flexible and better integrated across borders in order to achieve secure and low-carbon electricity. In this perspective, governments will have to work together to integrate their regulatory frameworks with regard to security of electricity supply and the deeper integration of electricity markets. This is a necessary condition to execute low-carbon policies at lowest cost.
The ESAP is organised into five work streams across the electricity sector and aims to identify the main challenges and share lessons learned from experiences in IEA member countries.
  1. Generation operation and investment: examines the current challenges facing electricity generation in the context of decarbonisation...
  2. Network operation and investment: explores the operational and investment challenges that affect electricity transmission and distribution networks...
  3. Demand response: identifies and examines the key issues associated with improving the efficiency of price signals for consumers, and the ability of consumers to respond to changing prices...
  4. Market integration: identifies and examines the key factors that affect electricity market integration, including policy/legal, regulatory, system operation/security, spot/financial market and ...
  5. Emergency preparedness: develops a framework for integrating electricity security assessments into the IEA series of peer-reviewed publications...

The IEA document continues their championing of trade.  In my region that still seems to be a non-starter politically, but ...

The NERC report looks at one region with the perspective of demonstrating challenges/lessons for all regions:
Integrating large quantities of variable energy resources (VERs) (predominantly wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar) into the North American bulk power system (BPS) requires significant changes to electricity system planning and operations to ensure continued reliability of the grid. The purpose of this report is to focus on considerations that all system planners and operators must address to reliably integrate significant quantities of VERs into the BPS. This report highlights the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (CAISO) current efforts to address these challenges as the issues are imminent in CAISO’s area of operation. 

I've often referred to the wind and solar generation being introduced as variable Renewable Energy Systems (vRES - which I first saw used by Lion Hirth); NERC's VER (variable energy resources) seems better (less provocative, and the challenge of integration isn't that there are renewable, it's that they are variable).

The NERC report is interesting to me, in Ontario, Canada, but it would be more pertinent to somebody in Ontario, California.  The market dynamics introduced by the growth in solar panels is remarkable 

Graphic from NERC Report: shows committed generation, treats VER as negative load (as I wrote here)

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