Publication: Transmitting Renewable Energy to the Grid : The Case of Texas
Jordan, Rhonda Lenai
The note is based on original work by Marcelino Madrigal and Steven Stoft, "Transmission Expansion for Renewable Energy Scale-Up: Emerging Lessons and Recommendations". Texas leads the United States with 9,528 MW of installed wind power capacity, a level exceeded by only four countries. The state needed more infrastructure to transmit electricity generated from renewable sources, but the regulator could not approve transmission expansion projects in the absence of financially committed generators. To solve the problem, Texas devised a planning process that quickly connects energy systems to the transmission system. The system is based on the designation of competitive renewable energy zones.
“Madrigal, Marcelino; Jordan, Rhonda Lenai. 2014. Transmitting Renewable Energy to the Grid : The Case of Texas. Live Wire, 2014/4. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/17142 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
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PublicationTransmitting Renewable Energy to the Grid(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-02-24)Many countries are scaling up their investments in renewable energy. In 2010, electricity production from renewable sources - wind, solar, biomass, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, and ocean energy accounted for 18 percent of global electricity supply. By early 2011, renewables made up a quarter of all installed power capacity. One of the main obstacles to the scale-up of renewable energy is connecting generating sites to the grid in an efficient manner. Renewable energy places greater demands on the transmission network than do conventional energy sources. First, the richest sites for solar and wind energy is often spread across multiple locations far from consumption centers or existing transmission networks. Second, generation is subject to variability in climate conditions (such as wind speed and solar radiation). This note focuses on the transmission implications of the dispersion of renewable energy sources, rather than on the implications of variability. In some sub regions of the United States and countries in Europe that are pursuing renewable energy options, the requirements for investment in transmission already approved by regulators (or forecasted by transmission companies) are double or quadruple recent investment trends. In Brazil the investment needs for renewable energy in some regions surpass the asset value of the distribution utilities closest to the renewable sites.
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