Exchanging best practices to incorporate variable renewables into South American long-term energy/power sector planning

Between August 28th-31st 2017, over 50 energy planners and international experts gathered in Buenos Aires to participate in an IRENA technical workshop titled Exchanging best practices to incorporate variable renewable energy into long-term energy/power sector planning in South America (see press release). The workshop was part of IRENA’s AVRIL project which collects and showcases the state-of-the-art energy planning and modelling methodologies to improve the representation of VREs in the long-term energy planning frameworks of national governments.

Held in cooperation with Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mining, the regional workshop was the first of its kind in South America, focusing on long-term planning and modelling for variable renewable energy (VRE) sources such as solar and wind. With the contents of IRENA’s recent Planning for the Renewable Future report as background, national planning representatives from ten Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay – presented an overview of their respective institutional planning and long-term modelling frameworks, how VRE are represented in those frameworks, and the improvement priorities for better representation of VRE as national rates of wind and solar deployment increase.

Additional experts from international/regional organizations such as NREL, OLADE, and the World Bank were on hand to contribute to the exchanges and discussions during the workshop, which delivered a wealth of information around current best practices and challenges to enhance national capacity expansion planning with VRE, and support significant RE deployment.

IRENA has compiled the information gathered and presented in this workshop, as well as the workshop’s key conclusions in an extensive summary report. Along with the meeting agenda, the report presents:

  • The meeting’s background and key conclusions, including bilateral and/or regional follow-up opportunities for future work
  • Regional context in South America
    • - Current and expected renewable energy shares in the power sector
    • - National power sector planning tools currently in use
    • - National institutions responsible for different stages of power sector planning
  • National profiles of energy planning frameworks, current approaches to VRE representation in long-term planning tools, and known challenges
  • Summary of current national approaches to the following issues related to VRE representation
    • - VRE investment costs
    • - Generation adequacy (i.e. capacity credit of VRE)
    • - System flexibility
    • - VRE siting and zoning evaluations (and their link to transmission investment)
    • - Stability-related operational constraints in a system
  • Appendices, including
    • - Meeting programme and agenda
    • - Official participant list
    • - Workshop presentations and recording
    • - Pre-workshop country energy planning surveys

For further information please contact:

Asami Miketa, Programme Officer – Energy Planning, IRENA (AMiketa@irena.org)

Daniel Russo, Associate Professional – Planning for the Global Energy Transition, IRENA (DRusso@irena.org)