Impacts of Variable Renewable Energy on Wholesale Markets and Generating Assets in the United States: A Review of Expectations and Evidence

Date Published: March 2020

Authors: Andrew D. Mills, Todd Levin, Ryan Wiser, Joachim Seel, Audun Botterud

The paper gathers available information from many sources on the degree to which growth in variable renewable energy (VRE) has impacted or might impact bulk power system prices in the United States. Most studies show that VRE reduces wholesale energy prices and capacity factors of thermal generators because of its low cost and flexibility. Although according to historical records, VRE has had relatively modest impacts on wholesale prices, the authors expect that the impacts from VRE will be more significant as VRE penetration level grows in the future.

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