IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - 27

Ten Trends That Will Shape
the Grid Over the Next Decade

stronger case for a major investment to build a stronger, more resilient, and sustainable
U.S. grid.

Ten Key Trends
Today's electric power industry also manages the interplay of many moving parts and
stakeholders. Local, state, and federal policies, the emergence of power marketplaces,
and competition drive a fundamental shift away from traditional planning and design
disciplines. New evaluation methodologies and analytical tools are being developed to
address these emerging needs. This article focuses on presenting the authors' views on
ten key trends and their potential impact on shaping the grid of the future.
✔ Coal plant retirements: Pending regulations and potential greenhouse gas
(GHG) policies could lead to a significant retirement of coal-fired generation in
the United States. How will the U.S. grid cope with a significant loss of base-load
power generation?
✔ Wind and solar power: Industry's confidence in reliably accommodating nondispatchable resources is increasing while technical advances reduce the cost of wind
and solar power. Will we continue to see growth in wind and solar resources?
✔ Gas-fired generation: Flexible gas-fired generation offers rapid ramping, turn
down, and short start times, ideally suited to accommodate more wind and solar
generation additions and cope with the retirement of less flexible, aging baseload generation. How will market forces reward the flexibility that will reduce
system-wide costs and emissions?
✔ Electric vehicles: Electric vehicles are increasingly entering the transportation
sector. Significant infrastructure investments and policy support will be needed
in the near term to accelerate EV adoption. How important is "smart vehicle
charging" and economic incentives in this transformation?
✔ Energy storage: Energy storage faces a cost challenge relative to alternate solutions to the challenges that face the grid. Storage can be an alternative for frequency regulation or short-term reserves. What hurdles must be overcome to see
more widespread storage projects? Can storage technologies play a major role in
a resilient grid?
✔ Distributed generation: Distributed generation (DG) growth is being driven by
policy [e.g., subsidies and incentives for rooftop solar photovoltaics (PVs)], but DG
can provide efficient energy when both electricity and heat are needed in combined heat and power (CHP) applications. Are we going to see DG and microgrids
displacing the need for a conventional grid?
✔ Management of distributed solar power: Rapid growth in distributed solar PVs
could challenge the ability of the grid to manage voltage and loading in the distribution system and will create opportunities for new distribution management
and voltage control solutions. How will integration challenges impact growth in
PVs, and what types of solutions will emerge?
✔ Dynamic reactive power sources: The retirement of power plants situated near
loads, the growth of asynchronous wind and solar power generators, and changing loads on the grid will challenge the grid's reactive power reserves and ability
may/june 2014

ieee power & energy magazine

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - Cover3
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