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Enabling high penetration of solar PV in electricity grids

Part of Today in the Lab - Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.


What is the aim of this project?

This project aims to enable high penetration of secure, cost-effective solar photovoltaic (PV) power in the electricity grid, by analysing technical requirements for PV and power systems. As a result, the project hopes to reduce the technical barriers to achieving higher penetration levels of distributed renewable systems.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

In the energy sector, penetration refers to the amount of power that can travel from PV modules to the electricity grid. Power generation from PV varies depending on the weather, making it difficult to increase the penetration level without additional technology considerations.

What is the value of this project for society?

  • assists in the clean energy transition by enabling reliable, cost-effective integration of clean but variable energy sources like solar
  • reduces technical barriers to achieving higher penetration of PV into the grid
  • increases the reliability and resilience of the power supply.

At what stage of development is this project?

The project began in 2018 and is expected to conclude in 2022.  Several major reports have been published, with more scheduled for 2020-22.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • enabling faster deployment of PV through appropriate policies
  • fostering flexibility resources (such as stronger grids and interconnections, affordable storage and demand-side response) to reduce curtailment and bottlenecks
  • developing appropriate grid connection codes (technical requirements) for PV
  • implementing policies to allow grid support through decentralized resources.

Ground-mounted photovoltaic installation on a former landfill site in Germany. Copyright: Klaus Prume.


Partners

  • Operating agents: Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) Austria and Technische Hochschule Ulm (Germany)
  • Contributions from more than 18 research partners.

Funders

  • PVPS members: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, United States. 

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS TCP)

Established in 1993, the PVPS TCP supports international collaborative efforts to enhance the role of photovoltaic solar energy as a cornerstone in the transition to sustainable energy systems. The PVPS TCP seeks to serve as a global reference for policy and industry decision makers; to act as an impartial and reliable source of information on trends, markets and costs; and to provide meaningful guidelines and recommended practices for state-of-the-art PV applications.

Contact: mary.brunisholz@netenergy.ch