IEA Report Outlines Conditions Necessary for Transition to Low Carbon Energy

IEANovember 2013: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a report analyzing electricity security challenges associated with decarbonization and outlining best practices for a successful transition to a sustainable energy future.

The report, titled 'Secure and Efficient Electricity Supply During the Transition to Low Carbon Power Systems,' begins from the premise that existing market and regulatory frameworks make it difficult to assure reliable and efficient electricity supplies during decarbonization. The decarbonization process, it notes, involves three enormous changes in energy systems: replacing aging conventional power plants; shifting to renewable energy; and reinforcing and expanding transmission networks to adapt to new, decentralized and variable generation. The report's findings cover five systems associated with these changes: electricity generation, network operation and demand response, and market integration and emergency preparedness. The report looks at each in turn, and develops a number of key findings for each system as well.

The report also outlines opportunities for urgent action, including: evaluate and improve regulatory frameworks for electricity reliability; enable cooperation in network investment, generation, demand response and flexibility requirements to facilitate trade and foster deployment of variable renewables; ensure undistorted price signals; and improve certainty on low carbon policies and targeted technology deployment. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Secure and Efficient Electricity Supply During the Transition to Low Carbon Power Systems]