Addressing Variable Renewables in Long-Term Planning

Solar and wind generation resources are increasingly becoming attractive options for countries to expand their power sector infrastructure. However, their unique properties also present new challenges in many contexts. At IRENA, through the “Addressing Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) in Long-term Energy Planning” (AVRIL) project, the Agency collects and formalizes knowledge on state-of-the-art energy planning and modelling methodologies that improve the representation of VREs in the long term planning frameworks of national governments. This work includes:

Providing an overview of key long-term issues and concerns around the large-scale integration of variable renewables into the power grid

Guidance to technical practitioners in the field of energy modelling, specifically with a catalog of practical VRE modelling methodologies for long-term scenario planning.

Detailed insights from IRENA’s AVRIL project can be found in the report "Planning for the renewable future: Long-term modelling and tools to expand variable renewable power in emerging economies". The project emphasizes the need to duly address VRE variability, uncertainty and location-dependency in long term generation expansion models and integrate stronger feedback loops among several planning stages.

Expert workshops

Expert workshops are conducted to collect inputs on the latest developments regarding data and methodologies that could bring practical advancements in long-term energy planning. Researchers, institutions and government planners are invited to share their insights and contribute to the AVRIL project and reports.


Power Sector Planning Workshops in South America, Central Asia, and Arab countries

IRENA works with its Member States to conduct regional workshops to exchange advanced modelling knowledge for power systems with high shares of VRE. These workshops also feature discussions on modern planning frameworks, methodological innovations and expert experiences. Such regional workshops have been held in South America, Central Asia, and Arab countries.


Long-term planning tools and methodologies

Capacity building regional workshops