Many industries are in need of reliable and usable climate forecasts for the coming weeks and months. Such predictions can help energy companies and other weather-dependent sectors better manage climate-related risks.
Better forecasts for clean energy production and power demand can improve the integration of renewables into the electricity system and help reduce the use of fossil fuel-fired plants, says Albert Soret, the leader of the S2S4E project.
“Both energy production and demand are strongly affected by weather conditions and their evolution over time. That is why we are working to make climate predictions more reliable and understandable,” Soret says in the video below.
For Swedish energy company Vattenfall, which owns many wind and hydropower plants in several countries in Europe, weather forecasts are very important as they increase the accuracy of their own electricity production forecasts.
According to Mikael Sundby, a hydrologist and planner of hydropower production at the Swedish utility, the more Vattenfall invests in developing new renewable energy, the more important it becomes for them to have access to reliable forecasts.
Two new hydrological indicators are now available on the DST, the snow max anomaly and inflow anomaly, bringing added value to the tool for the hydropower sector.
There is currently more snow than normal in mountainous areas in Scandinavia, and snowmelt is set to lead to high water inflows to the region’s hydropower reservoirs in May, June and July, the latest forecasts show.
The DST version 1.4.0 is now available. The new release implements two new hydrological indicators, along with several visualisation improvements.
Researchers explain the benefits of long-term forecasts for the hydropower sector.
Hydropower production highly depends on weather and climate variables, such as precipitation. In order to effectively manage the water reservoirs throughout the year, hydropower producers rely on the expected conditions over the coming weeks and months.
Creating an online forecasting tool for renewable energy is a huge challenge, with many people involved, contributing small pieces to build this large and complex puzzle.
Lockdowns in many European countries due to COVID-19 have pushed down the electricity demand and could increase the share of renewables in the electricity supply.