The Balancing Challenge of Electric Power Systems Under High Renewable Penetration with Examples in China


Thursday, February 20, 2014, 3:30pm to 4:45pm


Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge MA

Speaker: Zhang Ning

ZHANG Ning, Research Associate, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University; Visiting Scholar, Harvard China Project


Sponsored by China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences



One of the key characteristics of an electric power system is that electricity cannot be stored economically at very large scale. Therefore, the electricity supply and demand must be balanced in real time. The integration of large-scale intermittent renewable energy such as wind and solar power brings significant challenges to keeping the supply-demand balance. This presentation will concentrate on the principles, challenges, and solutions of balancing the power system under high renewable penetration, with examples from China. The operation mechanisms of the power system maintaining supply-demand balance over different time horizons will be summarized. The impacts of large-scale renewable energy integration on power system operation will be reviewed. The challenges in terms of frequency control, generation scheduling, and long-term generation and transmission planning will be highlighted. Ongoing and future solutions of this problem will be introduced such as storage devices, flexible power plants, forecasting techniques, and robust scheduling schemes. Related electricity market mechanisms and energy policy development will also be discussed.