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Regional and National Grid Integration Studies Consistently Show Higher Levels of Renewables Are Possible

Analysis Insights: April 2015

Through groundbreaking modeling and analysis of the operational, economic, and environmental impacts of increasing renewables on the nation's electricity grid, NREL has shown that a more flexible electric grid can achieve much higher levels of renewable penetration than we have today.

Operational changes and improved transmission access can help increase overall flexibility of the power system. Flexibility helps balance the increased variability and uncertainty associated with wind and solar generation. Some physical solutions to accommodate increase power system flexibility are already underway. The institutional, legislative, and market options to increase flexibility are relatively more complex, but are essential to allow power systems to develop and integrate technology advances, new operating procedures, evolved business models, and new market rules.