The challenges of accommodating renewables increases as the share of variable renewable energy grows. Power sector transformation should be approached in a multi-dimensional way, as these challenges and related measures are dependent on a broad range of factors. These include: country-size; temperature and seasonal patterns; existing generation fleets; storage assets; transmission grids; renewables-load mismatches; neighbouring country profiles; market design; regulatory frameworks and many other aspects.
IRENA tracks measures applied in countries around the world to overcome such challenges. In the list below, these measures can be filtered by the challenges they are designed to overcome or the enablers required to implement them. A measure applied in the present may also act as an enabler for a later measure.
The IRENA Knowledge Framework for the power sector transformation helps countries identify the next steps towards power system decarbonisation by diagnosing areas that may require further attention to move forward with renewables. By observing front-runner countries’ “learning-by-doing” pathways, the Power Sector Transformation Knowledge Framework gathers useful information, benchmark experiences and successful measures that can be shared with other countries with similar enabling conditions in place.
As part of this approach, IRENA has developed more than twenty indicators in the following macro-sectors: flexibility; transmission; demand response and storage; interconnectors; operation; and markets. From these indicators, IRENA can correlate measures to the specific country and time when the measure was applied, serving as a first-hand assessment of the challenges and solutions to increasing shares of solar and wind energy. A set of dashboards on countries’ profiles and measures can be accessed below.
The Knowledge Framework assists IRENA Members by providing possible solutions to address specific power sector transformation challenges in a given country. Recently, at the request of the 2019 Japanese G20 presidency, the Framework provided inputs for the current state and outlook of solutions to integrate high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) for G20 countries
IRENA organises workshops with countries that have faced – and in some cases successfully overcome – similar challenges to discuss best practices and their applicability based on enabling conditions and efficient implementation. In addition, relevant literature and other materials are provided, drawn from the work of IRENA and its partners in the field, to highlight the methodologies and power system studies employed to develop solutions.