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The integration of solar and wind power poses specific challenges as system operators pursue low-carbon investments and long-term energy sustainability. As these variable renewable energy (VRE) sources reach high shares of power generation, power systems must be increasingly flexible to maintain the balance of supply and demand over each day or year.
A large number of innovations that can be used to integrate high VRE shares are emerging and are being implemented worldwide.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has analysed the innovation landscape for VRE integration, mapping and categorising innovative solutions and on-the-ground examples. The resulting report aims to provide a structural framework to approach innovation and a guide to current innovations, either under development or already in use, in different settings across the globe.
Innovations are emerging across four key dimensions of the world’s power systems: