Flexibility is the Key in a High Renewable Energy World

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Flexibility is the Key in a High Renewable Energy World
By Gee Yong, with additional reporting by Agora Energiewende

The SIEW Thinktank Roundtable organised by Agora Energiewende explored the role that flexibility options like storage can play to support and accelerate the energy transformation towards a high renewable energy (RE) future. 

Three key takeaways from the discussions were:

1. RE deployment in Southeast Asia will accelerate in the coming years, creating the need for flexibility

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director for the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), and Nhien Ngo, Director of the Vietnam Initiative for Energy Transition (VIET), shared the potential RE roadmaps for Indonesia and Viet Nam respectively. 

Mr. Tumiwa noted that the Indonesian Government has set the RE target at 23 per cent by 2025 and 25 per cent by 2030. However, Indonesia could potentially accommodate twice as much RE while reducing wasted investments through better demand forecasting and integration of RE.

Ms. Ngo shared that Viet Nam could potentially deploy significantly more RE than under the current energy plan, with demand growth to 2030 fully met by RE.

2. System-level approaches can already help better optimize RE deployment and integration

Simon Rolland, Programme Director for GIZ, shared various tools that they have developed together with the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam to optimize RE deployment, systemize network planning and better implement a smart grid for RE and energy efficiency integration.

He also shared that GIZ is embarking on a new project with four ASEAN countries to undertake research, build capabilities and encourage dialogue on developing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sectors.

3. Flexibility will be increasingly important, as what options and how they enter each market may differ

Dimitri Pescia and Dr. Philipp Godron, both Senior Associates with Agora Energiewende, touched on the development of flexibility options and the experiences in other jurisdictions. 

Mr. Pescia opined that baseload is an obsolete concept in a high RE world, and markets can be effective in attracting the necessary investment in flexibility options, based on Germany’s experience.

Mr. Godron elaborated on the different flexibility options available to policymakers, including regional interconnections and demand side management, and that the examples of Germany, the U.S. and India suggested different value propositions for flexibility providers.

         

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