Variable Generation, Flexible Demand

Fereidoon P. Sioshansi (ed.), Academic Press November 2020, ISBN 978-0-12-823810-3, 594 pages, $130.

Available now. You can get a 30% discount using the code ENGIN320 at the publisher’s website.

Traditionally the grid operators predicted demand and dispatched generation to meet it. As we move forward to a future where renewable generation accounts for the bulk of supply on the network, this paradigm is changing to one where the grid operators have to predict variable renewable generation and adjust demand to match it. This is likely to happen in more places as the percentage of renewable generation, especially solar and wind, is challenging the ability of the grid operators to keep supply and demand in balance in real time. This book examines the ways and means of developing flexible demand, which has remained largely unexplored, to play an increasing role.

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“It highlights the need for grid operators to predict the amount of fluctuating wind and solar resources and schedule complimentary demand. This represents a major change from the traditional way in which demand was forecast and generation resources were dispatched to meet it. The book provides lessons and examples of integrating rising levels of carbon neutral resources into the grid.” — CA Current

“The book explores practical ways that demand flexibility can play a constructive role as more systems move towards higher levels of renewable generation along with complementary market designs, business models, enabling technologies, policies, and regulation.” — Energy Central

“The book is timely coming after two major episodes of power shortages in California and Texas, where having more flexible demand at scale could have made a difference, certainly in the former case where the supply shortages were relatively small – 1GW in a 40GW system – and limited to a couple of hours. Even in Texas, where the shortages were huge and lasted for a good part of the week, customers could have responded by keeping the lights on while turning off showers, dishwashers and dryers. With wholesale prices at $9,000/MWhs, many large and small customers would have found ways to conserve, thus reducing the need for indiscriminate rolling blackouts. Having more flexible demand and knowing how to use it will become more important not only in emergencies but in day-to-day operation of networks that are marching towards 100% renewable targets.” — Neil Mearns in Energy Net Zero