The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is launching a report on February 19 at the European Commission about integrating renewable energy.

The report “Innovation Landscape for a Renewable-Powered Future: solutions to integrate variable renewables” launched by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin in the presence of Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete focuses on innovations that will transform the power sector.

According to the report, the integration of solar and wind power poses specific challenges as system operators pursue low-carbon investments and long-term energy sustainability. As these variable renewable energy (VRE) sources reach high shares of power generation, power systems must be increasingly flexible to maintain the balance of supply and demand over each day or year, the IRENA report read.

IRENA urges policymakers and system operators around the world to seek new enabling technologies, business models, market designs and system operation measures, aiming to make optimal use of VRE in this evolving landscape. Innovation initiatives, therefore, look for solutions that boost system flexibility.

IRENA has analysed the innovation landscape for VRE integration, mapping and categorising innovative solutions and on-the-ground examples. The resulting report aims to provide a guide to current innovations, either under development or already in use, in different settings across the globe, IRENA said, adding that the resulting framework is meant to support informed decision-making on the best solutions for each different power system. The report concludes with an eight-step plan for power-sector transformation: Anticipate future power system needs; adopt a systemic approach; foster learning by doing; account for changing roles and responsibilities; create synergies through sector coupling; make market-design innovation a priority; turn smart innovations into smart solutions; and adopt an open and co-operative approach to innovation.

With its “Clean Energy for All Europeans” –package the European Union has already started the modernisation and transformation towards a climate neutral economy, the European Commission said, adding that implementing the package will further boost innovation, and the EU can continue to show leadership and support the rest of the world by exporting innovative solutions in the fight against climate change.

The Commission’s vision “Clean Planet for All” aims at modernising the EU’s economy making it the first major economy to become climate neutral by 2050. The vision foresees a central role for renewable energy in this transition.

IRENA is the global intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a renewable energy future and serves as a platform for international co-operation and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.