Clean Grid Vision: A U.S. Perspective

Clean Grid Vision: A U.S. Perspective summarizes NREL's research of possible pathways for future grid development.

Clean Grid Vision: A U.S. Perspective aims to present perspectives on the main issues in future grid development, covering both supply and demand. It focuses on the lessons learned through NREL's studies of the U.S. power sector that have measured the impacts of high-penetration variable renewable energy and tested strategies for enhancing grid flexibility and reliability.

As such, this report is limited in its scope and does not attempt to review or summarize all power system literature. Although it refers to relevant external literature to provide context when needed, this study is primarily a summary of NREL's research in the past 5 years on five topics:

  1. Grid planning and operation
  2. Grid reliability at the distribution level
  3. Grid reliability at the transmission level
  4. Demand-side evolution
  5. Power markets.

Each topic corresponds to a chapter from this report.

Final Report

The Clean Grid Vision: A U.S. Perspective is presented as a collection of five chapters and an executive summary, each of which is available as an individual download.

Executive Summary 
This describes the report and summarizes its high-level insights.

Chapter 1: Clean Grid Scenarios 
Serves as a broad introduction to the type of future power systems envisioned in the Clean Grid Vision: one with high penetrations of variable renewable energy generation and a variety of flexible resources.

Chapter 2: Distribution Issues and Tools 
Reviews considerations for the power system relevant to the continued growth in distributed energy resources as well as the tools and best practices necessary to manage their growing role across the power grid.

Chapter 3: Transmission Grid-Supporting Technologies 
Covers the ways high renewable penetration will bring challenges to power system reliability and stability. It also summarizes how renewable generation technologies can provide a wide range of grid services that can maintain and improve grid reliability and stability.

Chapter 4: Demand-Side Development 
Focuses on developments on the demand side of the electricity system in the United States, including energy efficiency, demand-side management, and beneficial electrification.

Chapter 5: Global Power Market Trends 
Outlines the evolution of the electricity sector toward competitive modern markets against rapid changes in technologies, business models, and other market factors.

Suggested Citation – Entire Report
Zhou, Ella, ed. 2021. Clean Grid Vision – A U.S. Perspective. Golden, CO: National Renewable
Energy Laboratory.