Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Large scale photovoltaics and the future energy system requirement

Lappeenranta University of Technology, Yliopistonkatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, Finland

Special Issues: Photovoltaic system design

Supported by conducive policy and technology cost decline, PV capacity addition is increasing rapidly. The capacity addition is forecasted to continue at a faster rate over the coming decades. With such an increase, it is important to ask about system requirement to effectively integrate large system into a power grid. This paper presents the analysis of literature data in order to clarify system requirement for large PV integration. The review shows that the most important challenges of large-scale PV penetration are matching, variability, uncertainty and system adequacy. To overcome these challenges, several enabling techniques, such as energy storage, curtailment, transmission interconnection, demand response, resource complementarities, increased grid flexibility, improved forecasting, geographic distribution of generation resources, were among the most discussed by various researcher. A closer look at some systematic studies shows that developing theoretical framework for the future system is the best way to guide the smooth development of an effective and secure system. This argument is based on the observation that (i) the role and importance of one technology, for instance specific storage technology, may change as VRE penetration increases; (ii) the increase in use of one application decreases the importance of the other; (iii) the use of some of the discussed solutions may depend on level of penetration as they also depend on season. Thus, it is important to design the system based on a criteria formulated with the understanding of system level science/theoretical framework.
  Article Metrics

Keywords photovoltaic; curtailment; penetration-curtailment-storage nexus; demand response; system adequacy; balancing

Citation: A. A. Solomon. Large scale photovoltaics and the future energy system requirement. AIMS Energy, 2019, 7(5): 600-618. doi: 10.3934/energy.2019.5.600


  • 1. Europe SP (2018) Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2018-2022, Brussels: Solar Power Europe.
  • 2. Gagnon P, Margolis R, Melius J, et al. (2016) Rooftop solar photovoltaic technical potential in the United States: a detailed assessment. Natl Renewable Energy Lab No. NREL/TP-6A20-65298.
  • 3. Huld T, Bodis K, Pascua IP, et al. (2018) The rooftop potential for PV systems in the European Union to deliver the Paris agreement. Eur Energy Innovation 12-15.
  • 4. Heslop S, MacGill I, Fletcher J, et al. (2014) Method for determining a PV generation limit on low voltage feeders for evenly distributed PV and load. Energy Procedia 57: 207-216.    
  • 5. Bach PF (2017) Electricity in Denmark 2017, New York. Available from: https://bit.ly/2Srh5nx.
  • 6. Holttinen H, Kiviluoma J, Levy T, et al. (2019) Design and operation of power systems with large amounts of wind power: final summary report, IEA WIND Task 25, Phase four 2015-2017.
  • 7. Europe W (2018) Wind energy in Europe in 2018, Trends and statistics, Wind Europe.
  • 8. International Renewable Energy Agency, Renewable Energy Statistics 2019, 2019. Available from: https://bit.ly/2LyWzAx.
  • 9. International Renewable Energy Agency, Accelerating Renewables Deployment in Regional Electricity Market, 2018. Available from: https://bit.ly/30Hz4bX.
  • 10. Brunisholz G (2018) Snapshot of global photovoltaic markets; report IEA PVPS T1-33:2018, https://bit.ly/2kP7IBy.
  • 11. Haegel NM, Atwater H, Barnes T, et al. (2019) Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: transform global energy. Improving costs and scale reflect looming opportunities. Science 6443: 836-838.
  • 12. California Energy Commission, Total system electricity generation, 2019. Available from: https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/total_system_power.html.
  • 13. US Department of Energy, SunShot Initiative 2030 Goals, 2018. Available from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/sunshot-2030.
  • 14. Solomon AA, Bogdanov D, Breyer C (2018) Solar driven net zero emission electricity supply with negligible carbon cost: Israel as a case study for sun belt countries. Energy 155: 87-104.    
  • 15. Caldera U, Bogdanov D, Afanasyeva S, et al. (2018) Role of seawater desalination in the management of an integrated water and 100% renewable energy based power sector in Saudi Arabia. Water 10: 3.
  • 16. Gulagi A, Bogdanov D, Breyer C (2018) The role of storage technologies in energy transition pathways towards achieving a fully sustainable energy system for India. J Energy Storage 17: 525-539.    
  • 17. Oyewo AS, Aghahosseini A, Bogdanov D, et al. (2018) Pathways to a fully sustainable electricity supply for Nigeria in the mid-term future. Energy Convers Manage 178: 44-64.    
  • 18. Child M, Kemfert C, Bogdanov D, et al. (2019) Flexible electricity generation, grid exchange and storage for the transition to a 100% renewable energy system in Europe. Renewable Energy 139: 80-101.    
  • 19. Blakers A, Lu B, Stocks M (2017) 100% renewable electricity in Australia. Energy 133: 471-482.    
  • 20. Solomon AA, Kammen DM, Callaway D (2014) The role of large-scale energy storage design and dispatch in the power grid: a study of very high grid penetration of variable renewable resources. Applied Energy 134: 75-89.    
  • 21. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2010) The effects on grid matching and ramping requirements, of single and distributed PV systems employing various fixed and sun-tracking technologies. Energy Policy 38: 5469-5481.    
  • 22. Monforti F, Huld T, Bódis K, et al. (2014) Assessing complementarity of wind and solar resources for energy production in Italy. A Monte Carlo approach. Renewable Energy 63: 576-586.
  • 23. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2010) Grid matching of large-scale wind energy conversion systems, alone and in tandem with large-scale photovoltaic systems: An Israeli case study. Energy Policy 38: 7070-7081.    
  • 24. Solomon AA, Kammen DM, Callaway D (2016) Investigating the impact of wind-solar complementarities on energy storage requirement and the corresponding supply reliability criteria. Applied Energy 168: 130-145.    
  • 25. Solomon AA, Child M, Caldera U, et al. (2017) Exploiting resource complementarities to reduce energy storage need. 11th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference, Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • 26. Elshakaki A, Shen L (2019) Energy-material nexus: the impacts of national and international energy scenarios on critical metals use in China up to 2050 and their global implications. Energy180: 903-917.
  • 27. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2010) An energy-based evaluation of the matching possibilities of very large photovoltaic plants to the electricity grid: Israel as a case study. Energy Policy 38: 5457-5468.    
  • 28. Denholm P, Margolis RM (2007) Evaluating the limits of solar photovoltaics (PV) in traditional electric power systems. Energy Policy 35: 2852-2861.    
  • 29. Deetjen TA, Rhodes JD, Webber ME (2017) The impacts of wind and solar on grid flexibility requirements in the electric reliability council of Texas. Energy 123: 637-654.    
  • 30. Reise C, Müller B, Moser D, et al. (2018) Uncertainties in PV system yield predictions and assessments, IEA PVPS Task 13, Report IEA-PVPS T13-12. Available from: https://bit.ly/2XWVGZ4.
  • 31. Pelland S, Remund J, Kleissl J (2013) Photovoltaic and solar forecasting: state of the art. IEA PVPS Task 14, subtask 3.1. Report IEA-PVPS T14-01: 2013, Available from: https://bit.ly/2Z32TDC.
  • 32. Jordan DC, Deline C, Kurtz SR, et al. (2017) Robust PV degradation methodology and application. IEEE J of Photovoltaics 8: 525-531.
  • 33. Hansen CW, Martin CM (2015) Photovoltaic system modeling: uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. Sandia Report-SAND2015-6700. Available from: https://bit.ly/2Gn2tAG.
  • 34. Solomon AA, Bogdanov D, Breyer C (2019) Curtailment-storage-penetration nexus in energy transition. Applied Energy 235: 1351-1368.    
  • 35. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2010) Properties and uses of storage for enhancing the grid penetration of very large-scale photovoltaic systems. Energy Policy 38: 5208-5222.    
  • 36. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2011) Appropriate storage for high-penetration grid-connected photovoltaic plants. Energy Policy 40: 335-344.
  • 37. Solomon AA, Child M, Caldera U, et al. (2017) How large energy storage is needed to incorporate very large intermittent renewables? Energy Procedia 135: 283-293.    
  • 38. Denholm P, Margolis RM (2007) Evaluating the limits of solar photovoltaics (PV) in electric power systems utilizing energy storage and other enabling technologies. Energy Policy 35: 4424-4433.    
  • 39. Solomon AA, Faiman D, Meron G (2012) The role of conventional power plants in grid fed mainly by PV and storage and the largest shadow capacity requirement. Energy Policy 48: 479-486.    
  • 40. Krauter S (2018) Simple and effective methods to match photovoltaic power generation to the grid load profile for a PV based energy system. Sol Energy 159: 768-776.    


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Solomon A. A., Michel Child, Upeksha Caldera, Christian Breyer, Exploiting wind-solar resource complementarity to reduce energy storage need, AIMS Energy, 2020, 8, 5, 749, 10.3934/energy.2020.5.749

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved