A legal perspective on grid interconnection of renewable energy and the role of electric utilities

Author(s): Ju-Yin Chen
School of Law, Soochow University, 56 Kueiyang Street, Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 100, R.O.C.
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 4, no. 2, April 2015: pp. 146-150
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.4.2.146-150

Abstract: Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and thus strong supports for promoting renewable sources such as solar and wind become widespread. The transition is moving slowly, and need legislative, regulatory and market-based electric utility structure cooperate. Nevertheless, in the process of boosting installed capacity from renewable energy, grid interconnection is widely regarded as the most significant barrier since production of wind and solar is dependent on weather and sun which can vary quite dramatically over time. This essay describes the trend of grid interconnection with renewable energy at first, and continues discuss predicament from the concerning laws and contracts, and finally compare the current policy and legislative of grid interconnection in the United States, China and Taiwan. It is emphasized that utility’s mandatory purchase obligation is only the subsidy policy matters, and strongly relate to the structure of electricity market. In the near future, the “Mandatory Connection Principle” should be well planned in the Renewable Energy Law and relative regulations.
Keywords: Grid interconnection, renewable energy law, electric utility, distributed generation, energy policy
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