Wind and solar energy curtailment: a review of international experience

Lori Bird, Debra Lew, Michael Milligan (Corresponding Author), Maria E. Carlini, Ana Estanqueiro, Damian Flynn, Emilio Gomez-Lazaro, Hannele Holttinen, Nickie Menemenlis, Antje Orths, Peter Børre Eriksen, Charles J. Smith, Lennart Soder, Poul Sorensen, Argyrios Altiparmakis, Yoh Yasuda, John Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

394 Citations (Scopus)


Greater penetrations of variable renewable generation on some electric grids have resulted in increased levels of curtailment in recent years. Studies of renewable energy grid integration have found that curtailment levels may grow as the penetration of wind and solar energy generation increases. This paper reviews international experience with curtailment of wind and solar energy on bulk power systems in recent years, with a focus on eleven countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. It examines levels of curtailment, the causes of curtailment, curtailment methods and use of market-based dispatch, as well as operational, institutional, and other changes that are being made to reduce renewable energy curtailment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-586
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • wind
  • solar
  • curtailment
  • transmission congestion


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