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Renewable Energy 101

January 19, 2022 | Online

Sponsored by EUCI

Click Here to register ($795)

Renewable energy is growing at an astounding pace and now accounts for more than two-thirds of all new electric generating capacity additions in the US. Costs for renewables—notably solar photovoltaics (PV)—have dropped to the point where they can undercut coal and natural gas-fired generation. With projections for further cost reductions and continued industry growth, renewables are challenging many of the assumptions upon which traditional utility planning and operation relies.

This course provides a thorough primer on renewables in the rapidly changing energy marketplace. It delivers insight into the technologies themselves, focusing on real-world cost and performance. It covers metrics for assessing renewable technologies and for comparing them to traditional generation. It also untangles the complex issue of grid integration, detailing the technical and economic challenges that variable renewables impose on electricity grid operation. And this course provides a pragmatic guide to the various and evolving policies and market conditions that both help and hinder renewables.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the electricity industry, its key concepts, and the growing role of renewable generation
  • Review statistics on renewable market growth and projected future
  • Evaluate technologies cost, performance, and technical characteristics of renewable energy technologies, including:
    • Wind
    • Solar – photovoltaic (utility scale and distributed)
    • Hydro power
    • Geothermal power
    • Biomass
  • Examine impacts of wind and solar generation on the electric grid
  • Review processes and best practices for integrating renewable electricity on the grid
  • Analyze the ever-changing policy environment and its impacts on renewable business
  • Identify opportunities, risks, and how to best move forward for renewable business success



8:45 – 5:15 p.m. Central Time

The Big Picture: Renewable Energy Technologies & Their Growing Role on the Electric Grid

  • Electricity systems: Introduction and overview
  • Electricity units and measures: The fundamentals
  • Trends and shifts in electricity markets: Drivers for change
  • Cost metrics for electricity generation

Renewable Energy Technologies: Cost and Performance

  • Technical fundamentals: How they work  
  • The renewable energy resource: Where and how much
  • Understanding their potentials, limitations, and promising applications
  • Costs and performance: Current status and projections
  • Technologies covered include:
    • Wind
    • Solar Photovoltaic: Utility-scale and distributed
    • Hydro power
    • Biomass

Grid Integration

  • What is grid integration, and why does it matter?
  • Solar PV and wind variability
  • Technological and economic limits to variable renewable electricity in power systems
  • Options to increase system flexibility
    • System operation
    • Load management/DSM
    • Electricity pricing
    • Flexible generation
    • Storage
  • Best planning practices to accommodate variable renewables while maintaining system reliability

The Ever-Changing Policy Environment

  • Understanding the policy landscape to leverage renewable business
  • How policy helps (and hinders) new renewables
    • Federal policy drivers: Tax Credits – ITC and PTC
    • State and local policy drivers: Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), Net metering
  • Wholesale market design

Putting it all Together: Tips for Renewables Success

  • Renewable market projections
  • Market disruptions
  • Tools, data, and software for renewable technology analysis
  • Opportunities and risks: How to move forward