IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - 75

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Challenges and
Opportunities for a
Sustainable Future

may/june 2017

grid-and to be paid for it-without restrictions on
their production. Moreover, they still expect the grid
to "be there" when they need it. To meet these needs,
the very architecture of the distribution grid has to
change and adopt new technologies, ways of plan-
ning, and ways of operating. Consumers are demand-
ing changed business models, and regulators and pol-
icy makers are striving to satisfy and even encourage
them, sometimes running ahead of the grid's abilities
to accommodate the new policies.
Several U.S. states, such as California and New York,
and countries like Germany, Spain, and Australia have
ambitious goals for achieving high penetration of re-
newable generation and DERs in the electric power
system in coming years. These goals are necessary if the
energy infrastructure is to adapt to the transition away
from carbon-based fuels required to mitigate climate
change. In achieving these goals, a key question arises:
How much should be invested in the grid, as more and
more DERs-e.g., microgrids or systems using phot-
voltaics (PVs) plus energy storage-serve loads with-
out utilizing the grid for extended periods, if not most
of the time? Then there's the follow-up question: What
is the value of the grid in the presence of DERs, includ-
ing energy storage?
Industry well understands [as documented by inde-
pendent, objective organizations such as the IEEE,
e.g., the contributions of the IEEE and IEEE Power
& Energy Society to the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) Quadrennial Energy Review) that reliability
and safety in terms of serving electric power load will
be negatively affected if the T&D grid is not equipped
to accommodate and enable the increasing penetration
and use of DERs. Grid modernization is an essential
step in achieving this vision and these goals.
While the electrical power system is expected to
continue to become more distributed, it is important to
note that today's interconnected grid began as a distrib-
uted grid. Interconnected grids were created to improve
cost efficiency, reliability, service quality, and safety. As
technology advances make it easier to deploy renewable
resources along with controllable, more efficient dis-
tributed grids, the fundamental benefits of a connected
grid still hold-and, in fact, become more important.
While the present grid is generally considered reliable,
as dependency on the digital economy grows, users will
demand even more reliability from the electric power
delivery system in the future, including resilience dur-
ing major weather or security events.
T&D systems enable the deployment of renewable
resources by providing pathways for transporting
clean energy between production and consumption
centers and also a means for resource movement and
delivery, while at the same time fortifying electri-
cal system efficiency and stability as well as reliability
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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