The Grid of the Future: Mapping the Path to a Grid Powered by Renewables

July 10, 2017 | State of the Market Report

Around the world, the power grid is facing changes on a scale never before seen in the century it has existed, spawning from the simultaneous influx of renewables, distributed generation, and digital technologies. As a result, the coming decades will be marked by turmoil – in the technologies and systems we rely on, in the players that make up the industry, and in the regulatory structure that controls it all. For power industry stakeholders, the power system of the future will undoubtedly need to look very different from the system we know today. In this report, we provide an initial answer to a key question facing the grid today: To allow for a grid that approaches 50% renewables electricity and beyond, what would need to change about the way we add power generation capacity to the grid, and what limits will we bump into without innovation?

Coverage Areas

  • Alternative Fuels
  • Distributed Generation
  • Energy Storage
  • Exploration and Production
  • Future Grid
  • Next Generation Power
  • Owning the Energy Transition

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    With variable renewables on track to reach a tipping point in 2020, the power system of the future will undoubtedly need to look very different from today’s.
  • Analysis
    In the scenario we examine, the integration cost of variable renewables grows from about $500/kw to about $2,200/kw as renewables energy share moves past 30%.
  • Outlook

Lead Analysts

Katrina Westerhof
Senior Analyst
Arij van Berkel
Research Director


Yuan-Sheng Yu

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