Energy supply and demand are strongly influenced by weather conditions and their evolution over time in terms of climate variability and climate change. In this context, the highest priority for energy network operators is to attain a balance between electricity supply and demand at all times. The increase of renewable energy sources in the energy mix is central to the global effort to move to less carbon-intensive economies that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it also brings some challenges. In particular, the generation of and operational planning for renewable energy are strongly affected by weather and climate, which cause wide variations in both energy supply and demand. For this reason, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) is leading international efforts to enhance the quality, quantity and application of climate information and predictions in support of decision-making by renewable energy producers.
Climate predictions including both sub-seasonal (up to one month) and seasonal predictions (for the forthcoming months) have witnessed considerable improvements in the last decade, demonstrating the probabilistic forecasting can inform decision-making at some temporal scales and regions. In particular, understanding and quantifying climatic conditions from several weeks to several months can improve the decision-making of wind, hydropower and solar energy generation. It can also help to better predict energy demand, and therefore, to ensure that energy supply matches the actual demand of electricity.