Reports

Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy

U.S. Department of Energy

This document summarizes the pros and cons of wind energy.

Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – Version 11.0

Lazard. (Nov 2017).

This study shows how wind and solar are now cost-competitive with traditional sources of electricity, even without subsidies.

Revolution Now 2016

U.S. Department of Energy. (Sep 2016).

This report documents the acceleration of deployment of five clean energy technologies in the U.S., including wind and solar energy.

Wind Energy Benefits

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (Jan 2015).

This fact sheet provides an overview of ten key benefits of wind energy, including the economic, environmental, and national security advantages of wind energy.

Potential air quality benefits from increased solar photovoltaic electricity generation in the Eastern United States. Atmospheric Environment

Abel, David; et al. (Feb 2018).

This study shows that there would be massive benefits to air quality and public health from further deployment of solar energy. Increasing solar to 17% of generation would reduce power sector NOX and SO2 emissions by 15% to 20%. Summer particulate matter would also decrease by 4.7%, saving $13.1 billion in reduced mortality rates.

Utility Scale Solar 2016

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (Sep 2017).

This report analyzes trends in cost, pricing, and performance of utility-scale solar in the U.S., including utility-scale PV and concentrating solar thermal.

The climate and air-quality benefits of wind and solar power in the United States. Nature Energy

Millstein, Dev; Wiser, Ryan; Bolinger, Mark; & Barbose, Galen. (Aug 14, 2017).

This article quantifies the air quality and climate benefits of wind and solar energy in the U.S., showing air quality benefits of $29.7 to $112.8 billion and climate benefits of $5.3 to $106.8 billion in 2015 alone.

Wind Technologies Report

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (Aug 2017).

This report documents the wind sector’s rapid growth, reduction in price, and technological advancement.

A Prospective Analysis of the Costs, Benefits, and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; National Renewable Energy Laborator. (Dec 2016).

This report quantifies the large benefits that states can accrue through the passage of renewable portfolio standards.

Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States.

U.S. Department of Energy. (April 2015).

This report quantifies the economic and environmental benefits of a scenario where wind provides 35% of U.S. electrical demand by 2050. The report also lays out policy actions that could help achieve this scenario.

SunShot Vision Study

U.S. Department of Energy. (February 2012).

This study examines a future in which the cost of solar decreases 75% between 2010 and 2020, in line with the DOE SunShot Initiative’s cost targets. The study also examines the pathways and barriers to achieving this target, as well as the implications of a future where solar meets 27% of U.S. electricity needs by 2050.

Analyzing storage for wind integration in a transmission-constrained power system. Applied Energy.

Jorgenson, Jennie; Denholm, Paul; & Mai, Trieu. (October 15, 2018).

This article shows that both transmission and storage reduce renewable energy curtailment but that their benefits are amplified when combined, bringing a benefit larger than the sum of its parts.

North American Supergrid: Transforming Electricity Transmission.

Climate Institute. (Oct 29, 2017).

This report explains how a national super-grid of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission could transform the electricity sector by massively reducing carbon, lowering prices, and improving reliability.

MTEP17 MVP Triennial Review: A 2017 review of the public policy, economic, and qualitative benefits of the Multi-Value Project Portfolio.

MISO. (September 2017).

This report analyzes and quantifies the economic, reliability, and climate benefits that MISO’s MVP transmission lines have brought to the region. The study finds the net economic benefit of the MVP portfolio to be between $12 and $52.6 billion, with a benefit-to-cost ratio between 2.2 and 3.4.

Reducing Wind Curtailment through Transmission Expansion in a Wind Vision Future.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (January 2017).

This report explains how transmission expansion is necessary to prevent the curtailment of renewable energy in a high-wind future. The study finds that wind curtailment could be cut in half with just 10.5 gigawatts of new transmission, with greater transmission yielding further benefits.

Well-Planned Electric Transmission Saves Customer Costs: Improved Transmission Planning is Key to the Transition to a Carbon-Constrained Future. WIRES.

The Brattle Group. (June 2016).

This white paper shows how robust investment in transmission, including interregional transmission, is key to bringing down customers’ overall electricity costs. The report explains how a robust, flexible grid enables policy-makers to choose the most cost-effective resource options and allows for geographic and resource diversification in their generation portfolio.

The Benefits of a “Transmission Superhighway”

Southwest Power Pool

This fact sheet summarizes the benefits of an interregional transmission system.

The Value of Transmission

Southwest Power Pool. (January 26, 2016).

This report analyzes the benefits of transmission lines installed by SPP between 2012 and 2014, finding net benefits of at least $16.6 billion, with a benefit-cost ratio of 3.5.

Interconnections Seam Study

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This study quantifies the benefits of interregional transmission lines between the Western Interconnection, the Eastern Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The report shows how connecting the three major components of the U.S. electric grid can drive economic growth and unlock the development of more solar and wind energy.

Future cost-competitive electricity systems and their impact on US CO2 Emissions. Nature Climate Change.

MacDonald, Alexander E; et al. (January 25, 2016).

This article shows that the U.S. power sector could cut emissions by up to 80% by 2030 using existing technology alone and without requiring electrical storage or increasing the levelized cost of electricity. According to the study, this scenario could be achieved using only wind, solar, and a national transmission system enabled by high voltage direct current transmission lines.

2016 Wind Integration study

Southwest Power Pool. (January 5, 2016).

SPP found that with transmission upgrades, its system could handle scenarios with 60% wind penetration.

The Future of Electricity Resource Planning

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (September 2016).

LBNL found that, at renewable penetration rates that utilities are planning by 2030, integration costs will be negligible to low. This includes states such as California and Hawaii that might see 40% to 50% penetration rates.

Renewable Energy Builds a More Reliable and Resilient Electricity Mix

American Wind Energy Association. (May 2017).

This report summarizes how renewables can build a more reliable grid, including at high penetrations.

PJM’s Evolving Resource Mix and System Reliability.

PJM Interconnection. (March 30, 2017).

PJM finds its grid would remain reliable and resilient even with wind composing more than 75% of annual electricity generation.

Renewable Electricity Futures Study

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2012).

NREL found no reliability problems in a scenario where renewables generate 80% of total electricity, with wind and solar making up 50% of total generation.

Minnesota Renewable Energy Integration & Transmission Study

Minnesota Commerce Department. (October 31, 2014).

This study shows that Minnesota’s electric grid can reliably accommodate 40% wind and solar penetration by 2030, using transmission and demand-side flexibility.

The Power of Transformation – Wind, Sun and the Economics of Flexible Power Systems

International Energy Agency. (2014).

This study shows that annual penetration rates of up to 45% variable renewable energy can be accommodated without significantly increasing power system costs.

Western Wind and Solar Integration Study

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2017).

This report shows that the Western Interconnection can handle 35% wind and solar penetration without extensive infrastructure changes.

Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (August 2016).

According to this NREL study, the Eastern Interconnection can handle upwards of 30% annual wind and solar penetration with current infrastructure.

Integrating High Levels of Variable Renewable Energy into Electric Power Systems

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (July 2017).

This study describes the grid improvements necessary to handle very high penetrations of variable renewable energy sources (between 50% and 90%).