Countries around the world are faced with the challenge of integrating more and more renewable energy into existing power systems. As the wind and solar power generation capacity changes with weather conditions, the challenges faced by various countries are mainly focused on improving the flexibility of the power system to support the use of renewable energy sources and avoid the waste of renewable resources (discarding electricity).
China’s abandonment of renewable energy is an urgent and complex issue that needs to provide solutions in terms of planning, policies, market design, supervision, operations (scheduling) and resource flexibility. These perspectives are all closely related to improving system flexibility to support higher VRG ratios.
In the United States, there is a new consensus that the existing power system can significantly increase flexibility at a relatively low cost. These low-cost solutions include larger balancing areas, faster sequencing and scheduling, increased demand-side flexibility through policies and pricing, and encouraging existing legacy generator sets to operate more flexibly. Although new investments in transmission, energy storage, and flexibility for gas-fired power generation also contribute to the integration of renewable energy sources, it is usually not cost-effective.
China may also face the same problem. Determining where and how to maximize the flexibility of China's existing power system is a critical research area.
It is a very favorable direction for China to improve scheduling and implement a more reasonable short-term wholesale pricing mechanism. In fact, these have already been mentioned in Document 9 – although a sufficiently detailed reform route has not yet been formed. The design work in the electricity market needs to be carried out very carefully. The focus is to increase flexibility and support VRG internet access.