There is considerable uncertainty over the effect of wind power on the operation of power systems, and the consequent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions displacement; this is used to project emissions reductions that inform energy policy. Currently, it is approximated as the average emissions of the whole system, despite an acknowledgement that wind will actually displace only the generators operating on the margin.

Because of its fluctuating nature, the feed-in of renewable energy sources into low-voltage distribution grids complicates the balancing of demand and supply. This carries the risk of grid instabilities causing damage to electronic devices and power outages, which eventually lead to deadweight losses. In principle, the problems arising from fluctuating feed-in can be solved by increasing demand elasticity or decoupling generation and consumption; for the first, an advanced metering infrastructure and, for the second, decentralized electricity storage are considered core enablers.

Fuel poverty is a function of household energy consumption, income, and the cost of delivered energy. The paper discusses ways in which current EU policy on the development of ‘smart’ metering could affect fuel poor households. The main focus is on developments in electricity metering and the development of ‘active demand’ and smart grids, so that demand can be matched closely with available supply.

We analyze the economic competitiveness of grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic generation through small-scale rooftop installations in five Brazilian state-capitals. The locations represent a comprehensive set of the two essential parameters for the economic viability of PV—solar irradiation and local electricity tariffs. Levelized electricity costs (LEC) for PV generation and net present values (NPV) for a specific PV system are presented.

This paper assesses the market developments in North Carolina's solar energy industry following the state's adoption of a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). It first reviews how solar renewable electricity certificates (SRECs) are intended to act as a support mechanism for the installation and financing of solar power in North Carolina's RPS compliance market. The paper then analyzes why SRECs have not precipitated growth in the solar industry thus far.

This study used ZIP code level data from the 2000 US Census to investigate the influence of local environmental, social, economic and political variables on the distribution of residential solar PV arrays across the United States. Current locations of residential solar PVs were documented using data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Open PV project. A zero-inflated negative binomial reression model was run to evaluate the influence of selected variables. Using the same model, predicted residential solar PV shares were generated and illustrated using GIS software.

The choice between centralized and decentralized electricity generation is examined for 150 countries as a function of population distribution, electricity consumption, transmission cost, and the cost difference between decentralized and centralized electricity generation. A network algorithm is developed to find the shortest centralized transmission network that spans a given fraction of the population in a country. The least-cost combination of centralized and decentralized electricity that serves the country is determined.

With the enactment of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, U.S. President Obama made a public commitment to a new approach to energy production and transmission in the United States. It features installing smart meters and related technologies in residential homes, as part of transforming the current electrical grid into a “smart grid.” Realizing this transformation requires consumers to accept these new technologies and take advantage of the opportunities that they create.

The development of feed-in tariff (FIT) programs to support green electricity in Ontario (the Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009) and Germany (the Erneuerbare Energien-Gesetz of 2000) is compared. The two policies are highly comparable, offering similar rates for most renewable electricity technologies. Major differences between the policies include the level of differentiation found in the German policy, as well as the use of a price degression strategy for FIT rates in Germany compared to an escalation strategy in Ontario.

Several countries and states have set targets for substantially increasing renewable energy (RE) contributions in their electricity grids. As the potential for additional hydro-electricity is limited in the US most future RE penetration is envisioned to be in the form of wind and solar. Our simulations, based on hourly resource and load data, demonstrate the maximum penetration achievable in the grid managed by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), by wind- and solar-power independently, and when they are combined.