The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has conducted an extensive and detailed analysis of the innovation landscape for the integration of variable renewable power, mapping and categorising the many examples of innovation and innovative solutions. This report, combined with various online resources, aims to give decision makers a clear, easily navigable guide to the diversity of innovations currently under development, or in some cases already in use, in different settings across the globe. These innovations are being combined in a wide range of power systems worldwide. The resulting framework should enable informed judgments on possible solutions for each particular case.
The synthesis report is structured in four chapters:
Chapter 1: Power sector transformation portrays the big picture, explaining the importance of a future renewable-powered system for a low-carbon, reliable, affordable and secure energy system. It also highlights the main challenges that lie ahead and identifies innovation trends that are helping to overcome the challenges. The changing roles and responsibilities of actors in the power sector, as well as new actors entering the scene, are highlighted.
Chapter 2: The landscape of innovations for variable renewable power integration presents an overview of the 30 mapped innovation types.
Chapter 3: Innovations creating solutions for a renewable-powered future explains the relation and synergies among the innovation types and the four dimensions and formulates possible solutions from such innovation synergies, or what it is called systemic innovation. Systemic innovation refers to matching and leveraging synergies in innovations in all components of the power system and including all actors.
Chapter 4: Impact assessment of solutions provides brief guidance on which solutions could be low-hanging fruit for increasing the flexibility in the system, and which solutions might be relevant for the context of different systems.
Chapter 5: Summing up: Eight-step innovation plan closes the report with recommended actions for a renewable-powered future.