IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 16

guest editorial

Charles Smith

wind and solar energy
variable generation across the land

A

As I look bAck over the lAst
10-20 years, I am simply amazed at the
advances that have taken place in the development of renewable energy and the
impact that it has had on the planning,
design, and operation of our electric
power system. It has been a very exciting time to be a part of this great industry, and the developments have attracted
a lot of much-needed new ideas and new
blood into the electric power sector.
Working with a broad cross section of the industry through the Utility
variable-Generation Integration Group
(UvIG) during this time has given me
a unique opportunity to deal with the
leading renewable-energy thinkers and
practitioners across the industry on
some of the most exciting and pressing power system issues of the day. At
the same time, I have the privilege of
working with the UvIG members who
plan, design, operate, and maintain the
power system and power plants, both
conventional and renewable, to make
this whole incredibly complex machine
operate in a highly reliable fashion.
the very significant cost reductions
that have been achieved are a big driver
for the industry, on one hand, and equally important, on the other hand, have
been the tremendous technology advances and reliability improvements that
have taken place. I would like to dwell
for a moment on each to put this issue
of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine in
perspective. For those of you who look
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2015.2462571
Date of publication: 20 October 2015

16

ieee power & energy magazine

forward to this issue every two years, the
focus has shifted a bit this year, with ben
kroposki of Nrel covering distributed
renewables in the March/April 2015
issue and myself and
my coeditors charlton clark at the U.s
Department of energy
and barbara o'Neill at
Nrel covering transmission-connected
wind and solar plants
in this issue.
on the cost front, I
would like to share the
results of an analysis
conducted last year
by the lazard investment bank, which
was trying to identify the cost trends
in the industry. lazard looked at the
unsubsidized average costs of wind
and solar energy and compared that
to similar costs for simple-cycle and
combined-cycle gas turbine plants.
rooftop residential solar came in at
Us$180/MWh, compared to simplecycle gas at Us$179/MWh. Utilityscale solar came in at Us$72/MWh,
compared to combined cycle gas at
Us$61/MWh and wind energy at
Us$37/MWh.
other reports from industry publications tell an even more amazing story on
recent power purchase agreement prices
in top resource areas. that means the
U.s. southwest for photovoltaics (Pvs)
and the midwestern part of the country,
from texas to the Dakotas, for wind. Utility-scale solar Pv agreements are being
signed in the range of Us$50-70/MWh,

and wind energy agreements are in the
range of Us$20-50/MWh. Anecdotal
evidence suggests that some prices
are actually below the low figures in
these ranges. Now that
is amazing!
And that is not the
end of the story. both
wind and solar are on
a downward cost trajectory, with the solar
curve a bit steeper than
the wind curve. Perhaps this helps explain
some of the strong interest in wind and solar,
in addition to the fact
that they are carbon-free sources of energy in what looks to be an increasingly
carbon-constrained future.
on the technology front, I think
the big news is that we now have fullblown wind and solar power plants operating on the system. What do I mean
by a power plant? I mean a plant that
can accept dispatch signals from the
system operator; participate in automatic generation control, ride-through
system voltage, and frequency disturbances; and supply the full range of
ancillary services required for system
reliability that we have come to expect
from any power plant on the system,
i.e., automatic voltage control, governor response, and inertial response. For
those of you who follow the activities
of the North American electric reliability corporation (Nerc), you will
recognize the ancillary services as a
part of the Nerc essential reliability

The big news
is that we now
have full-blown
wind and solar
power plants
operating on
the system.

november/december 2015



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 4
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 5
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 6
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 7
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 8
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 9
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 10
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 11
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 12
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 13
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 14
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 15
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 16
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 17
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 18
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 19
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 20
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 21
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 22
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 23
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 24
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 25
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 26
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 27
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 28
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 29
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 30
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 31
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 32
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 33
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 34
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 35
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 36
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 37
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 38
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 39
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 40
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 41
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 42
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 43
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 44
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 45
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 46
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 47
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 48
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 49
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 50
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 51
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 52
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 53
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 54
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 55
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 56
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 57
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 58
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 59
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 60
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 61
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 62
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 63
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 64
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 65
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 66
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 67
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 68
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 69
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 70
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 71
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 72
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 73
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 74
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 75
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 76
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 77
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 78
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 79
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 80
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 81
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 82
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 83
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 84
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 85
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 86
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 87
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 88
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 89
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 90
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 91
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 92
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 93
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 94
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 95
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 96
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 97
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 98
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 99
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 100
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 101
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 102
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 103
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 104
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 105
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 106
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 107
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 108
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 109
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 110
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 111
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 112
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/powerelectronics_september2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070821
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050621
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030421
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010221
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070820
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050620
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030420
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070819
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050619
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030419
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010219
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070818
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050618
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030418
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010218
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070817
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050617
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030417
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010217
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070816
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050616
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030416
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/powerenergy_010216
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070815
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050615
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030415
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010215
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_111214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_091014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_070814
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_050614
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_030414
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/powerenergy_010214
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com