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Increasing levels of wind energy are adding to the uncertainty and variability inherent in electricity grids and are consequently driving changes. Here, some of the possible evolutions in optimal short-term energy balancing to better deal with wind energy uncertainty are investigated. The focus is mainly on managing reserves through changes in scheduling, in particular market structure (more regular and higher resolution scheduling), reserve procurement (dynamic as opposed to static), and improved operational planning (stochastic as opposed to deterministic). Infrastructure changes including flexible plant, increased demand side participation, more interconnection, transmission, larger balancing areas, and critically improved forecasting can also be significant and are dealt with in the discussion. The evolutions are tightly coupled, their impact is system-dependent and so no “best” set is identifiable but experience of system operators will be critical to future developments.