Skip to main content
Analyzing Major Challenges of Wind and Solar Variability in Power Systems
Renewable Energy
  • Falko Ueckerdt, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Robert Brecha, University of Dayton
  • Gunnar Luderer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Document Type
Publication Date

Ambitious policy targets together with current and projected high growth rates indicate that future power systems will likely show substantially increased generation from renewable energy sources. A large share will come from the variable renewable energy (VRE) sources wind and solar photovoltaics (PV); however, integrating wind and solar causes challenges for existing power systems. In this paper we analyze three major integration challenges related to the structural matching of demand with the supply of wind and solar power: low capacity credit, reduced utilization of dispatchable plants, and over-produced generation. Based on residual load duration curves we define corresponding challenge variables and estimate their dependence on region (US Indiana and Germany), penetration and mix of wind and solar generation. Results show that the impacts of increasing wind and solar shares can become substantial, and increase with penetration, independently of mix and region. Solar PV at low penetrations is much easier to integrate in many areas of the US than in Germany; however, some impacts (e.g. over-production) increase significantly with higher shares. For wind power, the impacts increase rather moderately and are fairly similar in US Indiana and Germany.

Inclusive pages
Document Version

The paper made available for download after the publisher's required embargo period is the author's accepted manuscript, provided in compliance with the publisher policy on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.

Some differences may exist between this version and the published version; as such, those wishing to quote directly from this source are advised to consult the version of record.

Peer Reviewed
  • Variable renewables,
  • Wind,
  • Solar,
  • Integration,
  • Residual load duration curves,
  • Capacity credit
Citation Information
Falko Ueckerdt, Robert Brecha and Gunnar Luderer. "Analyzing Major Challenges of Wind and Solar Variability in Power Systems" Renewable Energy Vol. 81 (2015)
Available at: