The breadth and coverage of analytical expertise in the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) are unique assets that underpin IEA efforts to support innovation for energy security, economic growth and environmental protection. The 38 TCPs operating today involve about 6 000 experts from government, industry and research organisations in more than 50 countries1.

Wind Energy Systems (Wind TCP)


Integrating wind energy through recommended practices

The Wind TCP undertakes co-operative R&D and provides authoritative information to participating governments and industry leaders to support the uptake of wind power. Drawing on previous work, the Wind TCP identified recommended practices for project developers and policy makers for large-scale integration of wind power. 

Wind turbine and an electricity network substation (Prince Edward Island, Canada).*

Electricity from land-based wind energy can be fully cost-competitive, particularly when emissions are factored into conventional fuel prices. Offshore wind power projects have the potential to significantly increase the contribution of wind energy if the costs can be lowered. To capture the potential of wind energy on land and offshore, electricity networks will need to be upgraded and power systems operation enhanced to accommodate the additional capacity and to balance the variability of wind energy.

There is a great need of reliable, comparable studies on the effects of large-scale integration of wind power into existing electricity networks. Findings from the existing wind energy integration studies are not easily comparable.  As a result, it may be difficult to derive prescriptive standards or best practices. 

For these reasons, in 2013 the Wind TCP developed a set of recommended practices for wind integration studies. This study is the last in a series covering a wide range of issues, based on a common approach and rigorously reviewed by experts in the field before providing input to international standards bodies.

Based on more than eight years of real experiences in integrating wind energy technology, the recommended practices published by the Wind TCP focus on wind integration into power systems. The study provides system operators, research institutes and consultants with the best available information on how to perform a wind integration feasibility study in order to ensure power system reliability, efficiency and the ability to balance energy supply and demand.

Key elements of the recommended practices include data (e.g. wind power plant size, location and output); developing scenarios for wind energy generation; power supply and demand; estimating the capacity value of the wind power; simulating power system operation; assessing flexibility needs of generation; adequacy of electricity networks and analysing and interpreting the results. The recommended practices stress that studies of wind integration should be an iterative process, especially when studying larger shares of wind power in future energy systems. For example, if wind power has unexpectedly high technical and economic impacts on the power system, it could be cost-effective to consider options such as changing operational practices or revising scenarios for generation or transmission.

During 2014, the Wind TCP recommended practices were used to create a roadmap on renewable electricity network integration in Mexico and to identify needed data to undertake wind integration studies in Japan. The final results have been published in the Recommended Practice 16 – Wind Integration Studies.

* Photo courtesy of Rich Hinrichs,  Boulder, Colorado


  • Benchmarking wind farm flow models
  • Comparing codes for offshore wind foundations
  • Cost of electricity from wind 
  • Environmental monitoring and assessment
  • Ground testing of turbines and their components
  • Improving aerodynamic models
  • Integrating wind into power systems
  • Small turbine quality labelling
  • Social acceptance of wind energy projects
  • Standardising turbine reliability data
  • Remote sensing technologies
  • Wind energy in cold climates


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