The New Climate Institute Paper Presents Framework for Analyzing Power System Transformation
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The paper argues that decarbonizing the power sector is critical in achieving transformation of the energy system and the Paris Agreement.

The report finds that measures to address challenges in energy transformation “already exist and are readily available”.

2 October 2019: The New Climate Institute released a paper that aims to help policymakers understand their country’s position in the power system transformation process. The paper highlights the importance of a shift in the global energy sector to limit climate change, ensure a secure energy supply and achieve sustainable development.

The paper titled, ‘Transition Towards a Decarbonized Electricity Sector: A Framework for Analysis for Power System Transformation,’ argues that decarbonizing the power sector is critical in achieving transformation of the energy system and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The paper presents a qualitative assessment framework that aims to help policymakers understand transformation in the policy sector and analyze their country’s position, including challenges posed by the integration of variable renewable energy sources (vRES) that arise at different time periods. Common technical challenges encountered during integration of vRES in existing power systems include load balancing and reserve challenges, monitoring and control challenges, system non-synchronous penetration-related challenges, network congestion and restrictions from network operation, and system balance. The paper explains that specific challenges are likely to occur at particular phases, independent of a country’s socioeconomic or geographic characteristics. Network congestion and restrictions from network operations challenges start at the very early stages of a transition to renewable energy, for instance, but become essential to address once a country’s annual renewable energy share is between 25 and 40%.

The paper finds that measures to address challenges in energy transformation “already exist and are readily available.” The paper underscores the importance of country-specific regulatory frameworks to promote full decarbonization of the power sector, and highlights different technical, policy and system interventions that countries can take.

Selected country factsheets for Argentina, Germany, India, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Kenya and Uruguay provide illustrations of how a country can assess the status of its power system transformation, and suggest policy options for consideration. For Argentina, for example, the factsheet states that the country’s growth plans for vRES capacity “are ambitious” and will require a stable, regulative framework and anticipating policies, including planning of new transmission capacity. [Publication: Transition Towards a Decarbonized Electricity Sector: A Framework for Analysis for Power System Transformation] [New Climate Press Release]

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