Use of satellite observations in wind and solar forecasting and in offshore wind resource assessment projects

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 5:00 PM
Room C111 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Melinda Marquis, NOAA, Boulder, CO

Energy demand, and to a growing extent energy production, are greatly affected by weather conditions. The energy industry benefits from accurate predictions of weather and climate. For instance, air temperature and humidity affect air conditioning and heating demand. Air temperate can limit the amount of power that transmission lines can carry. Winds, ice, clouds, and temperature affect the amount of wind and solar power that can be produced, and more accurate forecasts of wind speeds in the lower boundary layer and clouds (solar irradiance) are increasingly required to support integration of these weather-dependent energy sources and more efficient operation of the power grid. The energy industry is also vulnerable in many ways to changing climate. Energy demand, production, and transmission are all affected by averages and extremes in winds, water supplies, temperatures, and related factors. Great quantities of water are used to produce electricity, and great amounts of electricity are used to purify and process water. Better information about changes to energy demand, and changes to solar-, wind-, and hydro-power production under various climate scenarios, is needed. NOAA and DOE are collaborating with the private sector and academia to address some of these challenges. The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP), the Solar Forecast Improvement Project (SFIP), and the Prediction of Wind Energy Resources (POWER) for offshore wind are designed to provide better information to the energy industry and to facilitate integration of more wind and solar power into the power grid. Satellite observations are important to all of these projects.