This article studies the integration of variable renewable energy sources (RES) into power networks. The main goal is to confront the contents and trends of scientific literature with the eyes and projects of researchers on future topics and issues to be solved, especially in terms of modeling of electrical systems. The analysis relies on a bibliometric study of the Scopus database on the topic and on an online survey sent to the corresponding authors of the identified papers. The paper analyses the dynamics of publication, clusters of collaboration and main studied topics. It then identifies potential research leads, among which unresolved challenges regarding technical aspects, markets and financing issues and social aspects. The paper concludes on the policy implications of the mentioned results. The disparity of models and results is still a necessary evil as research is not mature enough to integrate in one model all the very complex parameters of VRE integration into power systems. Some recurring lacks though, such as the impact of emergent technologies or the development of substitute low carbon emitting technology (other than solar and wind), need to be addressed. The paper also advocates the need for a systemic vision, for both research and policy makers that goes beyond the sole power system.