ET.20.017 – Understanding and forecasting weather for renewable energy application in society

Route: Energy transition

Cluster question: 018 How can we quickly make our energy supply greener while keeping it affordable and reliable?

In order to combat climate change, the Netherlands is increasing its share of energy generation from renewables such as solar and wind. This makes the energy system more vulnerable to the weather. In particular, rapid changes in solar radiation or wind speed put pressure on energy grid operations and management. But even on much larger timescales, variability has implications for balancing and energy market trading. To mitigate this, requires improved understanding of the meteorological processes underpinning the output of renewable energy generators and using this information to transform energy management processes. Our initiative aims to better understand and forecast the physical processes behind the meteorological variations across a range of relevant time and spatial scales from seconds to months and metres to 100s of km. On the short term, these processes require forecasts at a high spatiotemporal resolution, e.g. at one-minute intervals for clouds, fog and wind speed at ~km scale up to 48 hours ahead for energy balancing. On the long term, regional seasonal forecasts are required for long-term bilateral energy trading. This requires unprecedented detail in terms of high-resolution modelling, machine learning and understanding of long-term weather patterns which is currently lacking.
We will develop a combined modelling and observation system that enables forecasting and monitoring of solar radiation, clouds and wind speed, supported by crowdsourced observations and numerical simulations at unprecedented detail. This will be combined with modelling of the energy system considering advanced control capabilities of wind and solar farm production and their impact on the energy market at all scales including ancillary services, balancing and forward trading.
Our aim is to facilitate a transition in term of energy management across different scales, considering the multiple challenges of atmospheric modelling, forecasting, renewable generation, control and energy markets connecting fundamental science with practical societal impacts.


energy grid, energy transition, Renewable energy, society, solar energy, weather, wind energy

Other organisations

Haagse Hogeschool, Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD), TU Twente (UT)


Organisation Wageningen University (WUR)- meteorology and air quality section
Name Dr. ir. G.J. (Gert-Jan) Steeneveld