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Renewables in the USA

Digital tools such as forecasting needed to integrate renewables to the power grid

Renewables in the USA: Digital tools such as forecasting needed to integrate renewables to the power grid

The US withdrawal from the Paris agreement – aiming at fighting climate change and dealing better with its impacts – in June 2017 certainly raised many questions about the future of renewable energy in the country. However, the strong demand for sustainability, social and environmental responsibility, as well as diversity and security of supply, remain. Renewable energy matches with three powerful words: Decarbonization, allowing to reduce polluting emissions; Decentralization, allowing the power grid to be more decentralized, but with large investments needed; Digitalization, as digital tools are mandatory to ensure a reliable integration. Forecast, for instance, is a very strong asset to predict power load and generation and thus to facilitate the grid’s management at all time horizons. Renewable generation, which reached 18%1 of the whole power generation in 2017 in the USA, is strongly led by conventional sources. The sector growth is in particular driven by solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind generation. Renewable generation, though, faces several challenges, particularly to ensure the grid’s reliability and assets’ competitive energy efficiency. Resources variability and uncertainty impose to find more and more efficient and affordable electricity storage and to use balance management tools (such as Demand Response). Technology evolutions help face these technical challenges, improving storage and using the benefits of smart grids. But of course, to ensure a sustainable development of renewable energy, regulatory and financial incentives are key enablers. So are Accords signed between countries and regions – like the Paris agreement –, and Conventions – like the UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – allowing their gathering

 

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