May 23, 2018

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Wind and solar energy are growing rapidly in the U.S. As these energy sources become a bigger part of the electricity mix, their growth raises new questions: How do solar and wind influence energy prices? And since power plants last for decades, what should policymakers and investors think about to ensure that investments in power infrastructure pay off in the future?

Our research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory decided to look at what effect a higher share of and solar will have on these questions. In our latest study, we found that high shares of these energy resources lead to several profound changes in electric systems.

In particular, our study shows how solar and wind tend to lower energy prices, but they add new complexity for operating the grid, which has big implications for regulators. For consumers, this research is a reminder that making the grid cleaner with wind and solar is an evolving process that requires significant changes to how the power grid is currently run—but one that offers large opportunities, if we as a country can become more flexible when we use electricity.

Read more

Comments are closed.