Getting Wind and Sun on to the Grid – A Manual for Policy Makers

Hugo Chandler of New Resource Partners was happy to lend his expertise to the making of this manual, written for policymakers and staff in energy ministries and regulatory bodies. The manual has two main objectives: firstly to clarify the true challenges faced in the early days of VRE deployment, and secondly to signal how these can be mitigated and managed successfully.

Wind and solar PV capacity have grown very rapidly in many countries, thanks to supportive policy, and dramatic falls in technology cost. By the end of 2015, these technologies – collectively referred to as variable renewable energy (VRE) – had reached double-digit shares of annual electricity generation in ten countries. In Denmark, their share in electricity generation has risen to around 50%, and was around 20% in Ireland, Spain, and Germany, in all cases without compromising the reliability of electricity supply.

Despite this evidence, discussion of VRE integration is often still marred by misconceptions, myths, and in cases even misinformation. Commonly heard claims include that electricity storage is prerequisite to integrate VRE and that conventional generators are exposed to very high additional cost as VRE share grows. Such claims can distract decision-makers from the real, though ultimately manageable issues; if unchecked they can bring VRE deployment to a juddering halt.

The publication was prepared by the System Integration of Renewables (SIR) Unit of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Simon Mueller (Head of SIR) and Peerapat Vithayasrichareon (SIR) are the main authors of this report, alongside Hugo Chandler of New Resource Partners Ltd.

Emanuele Bianco (SIR) also made substantive contributions. This report was developed under the supervision of Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division and Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets Security.

You can access the full report here