11 Jan 2021

11 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Sub-seasonal forecasts of demand, wind power and solar power generation for 28 European Countries

Hannah C. Bloomfield1, David J. Brayshaw1,2, Paula L. M. Gonzalez1,2,3, and Andrew Charlton-Perez1 Hannah C. Bloomfield et al.
  • 1University of Reading, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Reading, UK
  • 3International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA

Abstract. Electricity systems are becoming increasingly exposed to weather. The need for high-quality meteorological forecasts for managing risk across all timescales has therefore never been greater. This paper seeks to extend the uptake of meteorological data in the power systems modelling community to include probabilistic meteorological forecasts at sub-seasonal lead-times. Such forecasts are growing in skill and are receiving considerable attention in power system risk management and energy trading. Despite this interest, these forecasts are rarely evaluated in power system terms and technical barriers frequently prohibit use by non-meteorological specialists.

This paper therefore presents data produced through a new EU climate services program Subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting for Energy (S2S4E). The data corresponds to a suite of well-documented, easy-to-use, self-consistent daily- and nationally-aggregated time-series for wind power, solar power and electricity demand across 28 European countries. The DOI will be activated after the paper has been accepted for publication. In the meantime, the data is accessible via, (Gonzalez et al., 2020). The data includes a set of daily ensemble reforecasts from two leading forecast systems spanning 20-years (ECMWF, 1996–2016) and 11-years (NCEP, 1999–2010). The reforecasts containing multiple plausible realisations of daily-weather and power data for up to 6 weeks in the future.

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time fully calibrated and post-processed daily power system forecast set has been published, and this is the primary purpose of this paper. A brief review of forecast skill in each of the individual primary power system properties and the composite property demand-net-renewables is presented, focusing on the winter season. The forecast systems contain additional skill over climatological expectation for weekly-average forecasts at extended lead-times, though this skill depends on the nature of the forecast metric considered. This highlights the need for greater collaboration between the energy- and meteorological research communities to develop applications, and it is hoped that publishing these data and tools will support this.

Hannah C. Bloomfield et al.

Status: open (until 08 Mar 2021)

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Hannah C. Bloomfield et al.

Hannah C. Bloomfield et al.


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Short summary
Energy systems are becoming more exposed to weather as more renewable generation is built. This means access to high quality weather forecasts is becoming more important. This paper showcases past forecasts of electricity demand, wind power and solar power generation across 28 European countries. The timescale of interest is from 5 days out to 1 month ahead. This paper highlights the recent improvements in forecast skill and hopes to promote collaboration in the energy-meteorology community.