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Achieving high performance through solar photovoltaic integration with smart grid

Renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic, are a significant player in the energy supply mix.


Over the past decade, the intensifying focus on renewable energy among governments and utilities worldwide has driven dramatic growth in renewable power capacity. Within this overall rebalancing toward renewable generation, solar energy using photovoltaic (PV) technology is emerging as an increasingly important segment.

To help utilities navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with increased penetration of solar PV into the power grid, Accenture commissioned a study to identify these challenges. This white paper provides a summary of the research and insights on achieving high performance with solar PV integration.

The quantitative research is based on a survey conducted online between March and June 2011 with 50 respondents from 31 utilities in North America. In addition, 12 in-depth interviews were conducted. Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) made up 72 percent of the utilities in our sample, with the remainder consisting of cooperative utilities, authorities and municipal utilities.

Download PDFRead the report.

Key findings

Through this study, Accenture set out to investigate and provide insights on:

  • What are the likely models for solar PV ownership?

  • When does solar PV penetration become an issue to grid operations?

  • What problems does high penetration of solar PV cause?

  • What are the potential solutions?

  • What are the opportunities and challenges with high penetration of solar PV for the utility?

  • What services might be outsourced to specialist third-party providers?

The research yields key insights into the impacts of high-penetration solar PV generation, each of which brings significant implications for the future strategies of all participants in the PV value chain.