Flexibility in 21st Century Power Systems.
Flexibility of operation—the ability of a power system to respond to change in demand and supply—is a characteristic of all power systems. Flexibility is especially prized in twenty-first century power systems, with higher levels of grid-connected variable renewable energy (primarily, wind and solar).
The Evolving Role of the Power Sector Regulator.
This report seeks to briefly characterize the evolving role of the power sector regulator. It describes seven existing objectives of power sector regulators and nine emerging objectives, highlighting key challenges and outlining interdependencies. As the preliminary installment in a series, it aims to lay the groundwork for subsequent reports and case studies that will explore these topics in depth.
At the 21st Century Power Partnership, our work focuses on four key areas of activity to support national and regional initiatives in power sector transformation. We develop and share knowledge, strengthen and disseminate tools, bolster expert capacity, and support policy and regulatory implementation. Learn more below.
Supporting Country-Level Policy and Regulatory Implementation
The Power Partnership facilitates technical assistance and peer learning to support national and subnational activities by working with existing country and development assistance programs. We are already at work in India and Mexico. The foundational capabilities and resources described will be applied to assist policy makers in establishing and achieving aggressive power sector transformation roadmaps.
Work at the subnational level is carried out with the awareness of national government initiative participants. Participants are expected to identify opportunities to apply the knowledge, tools, and expert capacity in support of practical policy and/or regulatory planning and implementation. Identifying such opportunities may arise out of existing bilateral relationships between Power Partnership participants, interest on the part of utilities or regulators, or engagement with subnational government entities. Learn more about our country-level work and our current activities.
Developing and Sharing Knowledge
The Power Partnership coordinates targeted knowledge exchange efforts across Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) initiatives. Depending on scope, the Partnership may review, research, or develop case studies of the following practical electricity sector issues:
- Market elements that facilitate integration of new generation and demand-response resources
- Methodologies for guiding integration planning
- Whole-energy-sector transformation strategies, best practices, and lessons learned in a conventional grid environment
- Demand-response resource assessment and integration methodologies
- Best practices in incorporating consumer behavior into electricity supply and demand scenarios
- Opportunities and challenges among evolving utility business models
- Best practices in data collection, validation, and management for renewable energy and demand response resource assessments and grid sensor data.
Strengthening and Disseminating Tools
As a result of the knowledge exchanges and research activities, the Power Partnership will identify needs for new tools (or for enhancements to existing tools) for electricity sector analysis, planning, and management. In conjunction with private-sector partners, the Power Partnership may develop models, tools, and resources such as the following:
- Modeling focused on capacity-constrained grids to support integrated generation and transmission expansion planning under varying assumptions
- Production-cost modeling methods incorporating demand response characteristics
- Integrated collection, validation, and management protocols for grid sensors, renewable energy resources, and demand response data
- Enhanced resources for forecasting, demand response, and variable renewable control tools
- Improvements to existing integrated assessment models
- Cost-benefit analysis tools to support prioritization of investments and policy formulation
Policy and technical resources
- Power market design legislation
- Energy efficiency (e.g. mandatory minimum energy performance) legislation
- Smart grid regulatory proceedings
- Grid interconnection plans
- Advanced RE, demand, and net load forecasting best practices
- Best practice environmental and land-use laws
Bolstering Expert Capacity
Transforming the power sector to clean and efficient systems requires expert capacity. A key area of activity includes convening multi-stakeholder knowledge exchanges, such as site visits, personnel secondments, moderated Web forums, and information databases. The following exchanges can be tailored to support each of the Power Partnership's objectives:
- Grid operator exchanges to examine and share information about national and subnational case studies of crosscutting electricity sector transformation (incorporating variable renewables, grid modernization, and efficiency)
- Multi-stakeholder regulatory exchanges to examine case studies of regulatory frameworks developed in response to challenging, crosscutting issues, including integrated regulatory frameworks for key utility sector issues and frameworks to collectively address important consumer issues
- Financial sector exchanges involving policy makers to examine and share information about critical success factors for promoting investment and innovation in grid modernization, efficiency, and clean energy generation