February 2016: Martinot update / grid-integration publications 2015

Dear Renewable Energy Colleagues,

Since completing the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report in 2013, I embarked upon the topic of grid integration, as one of the key challenges for our renewable energy future.  I wanted to explain the grid integration challenge in plain language for understanding by non-technical readers and to help policy makers think about the next generation of policies.  And I wanted to capture the emerging experience and innovation around the world, how we are already managing to integrate larger shares of renewables than "conventional wisdom" of 20 years ago suggested was possible.

I'm pleased to share with you the five papers listed below, resulting from my efforts over the past two years.  The first listed California CPUC white paper is a good illustration of an effort, within one specific jurisdiction, to take stock of what information exists, what is already being done, what can be done in the short-term as "no-regrets", what are long-term visions, and how to engage policy more holistically. The second Annual Review paper is my best effort yet at a well-written, plain-language and comprehensive treatment of the whole grid integration issue.  The third NREL status report takes stock of many innovations from around the world. The fourth California-Germany-Denmark paper looks at how grid integration has already been achieved, along with implications for China. And the fifth distribution systems paper considers long-term evolution at the distribution level. Thanks to JREF, ISEP, IASS, NREL, CNREC and others whose support and collaboration made this work possible.

In other news, my renewable energy information web site martinot.info has recently been updated with links to new resources and reports, including policy references, finance references, information sources, grid-integration reports, and an extensive list of new scenarios for renewable energy futures published during 2014-2015 by many organizations. The site has been getting over 90,000 visits per year in recent years.

And I continue to teach. In 2015, I was honored by my university, the Beijing Institute of Technology, to receive their "Outstanding MBA Teacher of the Year" award for my class on clean energy business and policy, an award based on student feedback. That class looks at emerging business models in electricity, buildings, and transport, along with underlying policy contexts.

Now what to do?  If you have any thoughts or suggestions for me, you are welcome to send!  I'm thinking of focusing more on distributed energy resources, not just distributed generation, but the whole constellation including flexible demand, storage, electric vehicles, etc., in terms of grid-balancing services, business models, local energy markets, and local energy autonomy.  I'm also looking at my potential role in helping define and achieve objectively measured outcomes in energy transitions, rather than just writing more reports and papers. I'm actually quite tired of writing reports and papers!

By the way, if you haven't looked at the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report in recent years, it has really expanded in many important ways, from its more austere beginnings when I wrote it during 2005-2010 with input from 100 people.  My thanks and congratulations to the now 500-strong network of contributors managed by REN21, and to Janet Sawin and all the REN21 staff for the report's evolution these past several years. I am very proud of this report and my role in launching it ten years ago, including my efforts in the early years to ensure its ongoing viability. 

Apologies for emails or requests that might have been ignored this past year.  Two serious illnesses in my family took considerable attention. 

If you have not received my annual email updates in recent years, you can view my 2013-2015 email updates at Past Updates Archive (which also links to my 2013-2015 YouTube videos). Sorry, many bounces occurred in the past due to lack of address updating.

Warm greetings to colleagues I've worked closely with, those I've corresponded with, and those just linked-in. This mailing list (now about 4000) is used once or twice per year strictly for my personal updates.  If you are receiving this, you are already subscribed, or connected on LinkedIn. (Unsubscribe if you wish.)  Anyone else is welcome to receive these emails:  either Subscribe or Connect on LinkedIn.

Onward to a renewable energy future!



Beyond 33% Renewables: Grid Integration Policy for a Low-Carbon Future, White Paper by the California Public Utilities Commission, 2015.  (Co-authors Meredith Younghein and Eric Martinot.)  How California is positioned and proceeding to integrate 33% renewables by 2020, and 50% by 2030, and visions and needs for a "grid integration policy pathway."

"Grid integration of renewable energy: flexibility, innovation, and experience," pre-publication version, being published in Annual Review of Environment and Resources 2016.  (Author Eric Martinot.)  A comprehensive review of the measures and innovations for grid integration, with examples from around the world, written concisely in plain language for non-technical readers.

Status Report on Power System Transformation, NREL Report 63366, A 21st Century Power Partnership Report, 2015.  (Co-authors Mackay Miller, Eric Martinot, Sadie Cox, Bethany Speer, et al.)  A unique compilation of experience with innovations for power-sector transformation from around the world.

Grid Integration of Renewables in China: Learning from the Cases of California, Germany, and Denmark, 2015, A White Paper for the China Variable-Generation Integration Group (CVIG).  (Author Eric Martinot.)  Simple explanations of what three of the leading jurisdictions worldwide are already doing to integrate already-high shares of renewable energy.

"Distribution system planning and innovation for distributed energy futures," Current Sustainable and Renewable Energy Reports (2015): 247-254.  (Co-authors Eric Martinot, Lorenzo Kristov, J. David Erickson.)  Perspectives on the needs and challenges for distribution-level power companies, and the changing paradigm and regulatory directions for distributed energy.

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