Variable renewable energy (VRE) sources—i.e., those that are fluctuating in nature, like wind and solar—are the fastest growing sources of electrical capacity in the United States. As wind and solar photovoltaic costs continue to fall dramatically, more operators are deploying these energy sources, but their ever-changing nature creates many challenges for system planning and grid operations.
As more VRE goes onto the grid, forecasting the amount of VRE power available becomes critical. Day-ahead wind forecasting has improved significantly. Average hourly over-prediction forecast errors of wind (where actual generation was less than the day-ahead market forecast) were as low as 3.7% in some market regions, an almost 60% improvement in just two years.
Grid operators cannot control the weather, but existing and new technology and market solutions can help minimize VRE curtailment. Wholesale electricity markets across the country continue to evolve to address the opportunities and challenges of VRE.
Read the 2016 Renewable Energy Grid Integration Data Book to learn more about VRE power and discover other report findings.
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