IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 87

targets. These policies are contained in the Five-Year Development Plan published and updated every five years, the
most recent being the 13th Five-Year Energy Development
Plan and the 13th Five-Year Renewable Energy Development
Plan. They form the basis upon which the SGCC and CSG
develop their respective network investment plans, a process
that includes four main steps.
First, the SGCC and CSG develop cross-provincial and
regional power transfer requirements within their respective administrative areas using PCSs and taking into consideration the national five-year plans, forecasted demand,
planned new generation, plant retirements, and national climate change commitments. The PCSs also consider seasonal
and geographical variation of precipitation, such as wet and
dry seasons and differences from north to south. The stochastic nature of precipitation and renewable generation output
necessitates the inclusion of many sensitivities in the analysis.
Second, based on the cross-regional/provincial transfer requirements, interprovincial and regional investment
schemes are identified. Detailed analyses such as load flow,
angular and voltage stability, fault level, and economic
assessment studies are carried out to ensure network security and reliability.
Third, given the interregional/provincial investment plan
identified previously, SGCC and CSG provincial network
operators undertake network investment and reinforcement assessment within their own provinces/municipalities, considering demand growth, generation development,
and network conditions. At this point, consideration is given
to whether the provincial/regional investment assessment
should be reflected in the interregional/provincial investment studies.
Finally, the network investment plan is submitted to the
NDRC for approval. Once permission is secured from the
NDRC, projects can then proceed.
Due to extremely rapid growth in demand (averaging
11.7% per year in the first decade of this century) and high
uncertainty regarding renewable generation development,
network planning in China has included many anticipatory
investments, in terms of both transmission asset size and location. These investments have promoted generation development, especially renewable generation, and maintained an
improving level of security of supply.

Meteorological Influences
As we transition from a power system dominated by fossil
fuels to a system dominated by wind, solar, and hydro (all
of which are "weather" fuels), the application of meteorology and climatology throughout all aspects of planning, siting, and operating power systems could avoid unnecessary
overbuilding (excess capacity) and therefore reduce costs.
New paradigms using data about how wind, solar irradiance,
water resources, and demand are intertwined across spatial
and temporal scales are likely to benefit planning for the
future energy system. A paradigm that encompasses siting
november/december 2017

of wind and solar plants based on both high AEP and capacity credit (the correlation of wind power production with
load) leads to a system that has increased spatial diversity,
lowering the risk of undersupply and oversupply under some
weather conditions.
Because most electric utility practitioners are familiar
with the weather-related characteristics of hydro, it is instructive to consider an analogy in which deep decarbonization
is to be achieved via hydro. Consider a hypothetical region
with a goal of 90% hydro and a tax incentive that credits
producers by kilowatthour generated. The region has three
river systems where hydro plants could be placed. System A
has the highest annual stream flow, with peak flow occurring in late spring because of melting snow pack; sometimes
System A experiences summertime drought that correlates
with peak demands. System B has only average annual flow
conditions and also peaks during the spring runoff, but it is
less susceptible to summertime drought than A. System C
has relatively low annual stream flow; however, because of
its microclimatology, it experiences consistent stream flow
throughout the year, peaking in summer due to frequent
heavy showers (a peak concurrent with peak demand during
the hot, humid season).
Initial market signals and policy incentives encourage
transmission expansion into region A and the build-out of
that river system, but such a solution would lead to periods
of massive oversupply in the spring and undersupply in the
summer, inhibiting goals set by renewable portfolio standards
because fossil-fuel backup will be necessary. System B has
slightly better attributes and is better placed to meet load in
the summer, but springtime oversupply remains, especially
if it is complementing System A. Conversely, System C is
the least incentivized but the most able to meet demand; of
course, there are still tradeoffs, because the cost per megawatt
hour produced by C will probably be higher.
The analogy is particularly instructive when one realizes
that much of the current U.S. wind energy build-out is concentrated in the Midwest wind belt, where wind generation
peaks at night and during periods of unsettled weather when
demand is usually low (see the "Recent and Ongoing WideArea Planning Efforts" section). This situation is analogous
to System A: as penetration increases, it will yield increasing
oversupply/undersupply risks that manifest more frequently
and with less lead time than in a hydro system, where there
is inherent inertia and some storage within the river system.
This is not to say that the wind belt resource is undesirable; on
the contrary, it provides cheap, relatively dependable energy.
However, it must be complemented with other resources that
offset its less desirable attributes.
To transition to a high penetration of renewables, transmission and generation planning are better suited when they
are considered together (cooptimized) over large footprints.
To properly assess renewables, the models must account for
the meteorological attributes (as described earlier). Policy,
regulatory, and market frameworks that evolve to incentivize
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover4
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