First Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy
8th Users Forum on Weather and Climate Impacts


Improvements in NOAA modeling and data assimilation to improve guidance for the renewable energy industry

Stan Benjamin, NOAA/ESRL/GSD, Boulder, CO; and J. M. Brown, J. B. Olson, J. Wilczak, R. Banta, G. DiMego, and F. Weng

A strong requirement exists from the renewable energy (RE) industry for improved guidance for both wind and solar power generation potential. NOAA has some modest efforts in several key areas that will expand greatly in the next few years to meet this requirement, including more accurate boundary-layer modeling, especially under stable conditions, improved cloud parameterizations, and higher horizontal and vertical resolution.

Also critical for improved RE forecast guidance are efforts toward improved data assimilation for cloud observations from satellites, METARs, radar, and lightning detection networks, and for use of high-frequency wind profile data from aircraft, profilers of various types, and satellite-based estimates.

The goal of these efforts, which will be at least decade-long, will be much more accurate and precise forecasts updated hourly for durations of 1 hour to many days for 20-150 m wind forecasts, and direct and diffuse solar radiation incident at the surface. These efforts will also benefit NOAA forecast guidance for aviation, severe weather, fire weather, air quality, and hydrology.

NOAA will be collaborating with many different organizations and laboratories in this effort to improve its operational guidance. These improved data assimilation and modeling capabilities will also benefit multi-decade reanalyses. NOAA will analyze some historic satellite and conventional data and reanalysis grids to understand the trend of solar and wind energy potential over the United States and the globe. Improved reanalysis and forecast guidance data will provide a resource for future solar and wind farm siting.

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 5, Applied Studies
Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, B202

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