IEA Energy Journal Calls for Electricity System Integration

IEA30 April 2014: The latest edition of the International Energy Agency (IEA) journal, titled 'IEA Energy,' focuses on the transformation of electricity systems. The journal highlights electricity system integration, with stories on a range of topics, including energy storage systems for bridging demand and supply, two-way charging of electric vehicles for the creation of dynamic vehicle-to-grid power systems, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and the variability of wind and solar energy sources.

In an introductory article, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven underlines that electricity demand is expected to by two-thirds by 2035, faster than any other energy sector. She explains that the US$14 trillion in investments anticipated over the next two decades require a change in perspective that delivers cost-effective solutions for energy security and decarbonization, and emphasizes a careful consideration and incorporation of multiple options into integrated energy systems.

Other articles in the issue describe how a shift towards integrated electricity systems could proceed. Manuel Baritaud, IEA, echoes van der Hoeven's call for integrated solutions for security and dearbonization in his presentation of IEA's Electricity Security Acton Plan. He outlines policies needed to deal with the challenges that the unbundling of monopolies, increased competition, and introduction of renewables have had on investment and risk profiles of electricity markets.

Dennis Volk, IEA, explains how major investments in transmission must be met with smarter operations, market-based solutions, fine-tuned distribution, and other network-wide planning that go beyond a narrow-focus on minimizing costs. Johannes Teyssen, chairman and CEO of E.ON and president of the Eurelectric utility association, offers a business perspective on the integration of renewables in the context of diverging retail and wholesale electricity prices in Europe.

The issue also contains stories on the IEA regional energy efficiency policy initiative in Arab and Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries; the IEA How2Guides to help countries and regions build low-carbon energy systems; and the Joint Declaration of Association for energy cooperation endorsed by Brazil, China, India, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, and South Africa at the IEA Ministerial meeting in 2013. [Publication: IEA Energy Issue 6]