Pilot 3.1 | nextSENSE: solar energy nowcasting & short-term forecasting system

Pilot 3.1 | nextSENSE: solar energy nowcasting & short-term forecasting system

The consequences of rapidly rising global temperatures will be far-reaching and devastating for humans and the environment unless urgent action is taken globally to curb emissions. To this direction, the United Nations and the European Commission (EC) have set as its main sustainable development goals by 2030 to contribute to climate actions and ensure good health and well-being by providing universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. EC Renewable Energy Directive establishes an overall policy for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources in the European Union. As a result, renewables currently account for more than 22% of total global electricity generation, of which more than 400 GW produced from solar systems in 2017. This brings to the fore the simultaneous vital need for improved Earth Observation (EO) solutions for the continuous monitor of solar energy potential and fulfil the increasing integration of solar farms into the electricity grids, the load exchanges, as well as the efficient electricity transmission and distribution. Therefore, through joint solar energy implementation funded projects, the EC's renewable energy policy aims to set up a low carbon environment with relevant services and support by existing and new EO techniques dealing with accurate, nowcast, short-term (STF) and long-term forecast estimations of solar energy.

/ Objectives
  • To use, improve and incubate EU-funded (Geo-Cradle) and other (CAMS) available innovation instruments, relative with nextSENSE products.
  • To upscale existing techniques in larger domains and serve a large variety of users (decision makers, citizens, national bodies). Use Geo-Cradle's networking platform, regional datahub, end user needs and solar energy related information in order to develop a tool able to be tailored to the needs of any domain and solar energy (nowcasting and STF) related product needed.
  • To demonstrate and deploy further the nowcasting and STF solar energy products (e.g. Egypt, Cyprus, Greece).
  • To use existing CAMS related products (HelioClim-3v5, McClear) for STF at specific regions.
  • To engage relative stakeholders (as defined from the geo-Cradle project): end-users but also uptake commercialization and internationalization related service industry.
  • To showcase through GEOSS related and developed tools and the renewable energy related benefits, towards a sustainable Energy development (SDG7 target for 2030 energy mix).
  • To contribute towards GEO vision for co-ordinated EO information to citizens, businesses and science
/ Partners


/ Key Users

Power transmission operators and Distributors, (The Public Power Corporation Renewables S.A. (PPCR), the National Independent Power Transmission Operator S.A. (IPTO) of Greece), Environmental and Energy Ministries (The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt), Large and small scale solar PV parks and concentrated solar plants, Policy Makers, Industry

/ Key Datasets

EUMETSAT's CM SAF and MSG (Cloud properties).

  • CAMS Aerosol optical depth (AOD) forecast data and water vapor data. Long term Global horizontal irradiance, Direct normal irradiance and AOD data sets.
  • in-situ ground-based aerosol optical properties data and information.
  • AEROCOM aerosol properties (aerosol absorption, scattering)
  • EO based satellite data for trace gases: total column ozone (OMI/TropOMI satellite) and NO2 (monthly climatology).
  • Sentinel data for additional parameters (e.g. surface albedo, cloud properties/climatologies)
  • McClear and HelioClim-3v5 data/algorithms
  • Pre-calculated radiative transfer model outputs (Libradtran)
  • NCW SAF Eumetsat software (clouds)
  • Improve existing nowcast and STF EU funded systems for providing more accurate solar radiation/energy related products. This can be achieved by cloud motion vector improved methods, use of additional cloud information from Sentinel data, improve aerosol related information and use including additional aerosol properties, assess the role of trace gases, water vapour and surface albedo on the solar energy calculations. Establish an online in-situ data related validation system.
  • Expand and upscale existing techniques for sub-country or country level to pan-European level. Provide a pilot (GHI and DNI) related product on line for one year.
  • Use HelioClim-3v5 related data and methods to showcase STF products to Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Egypt) countries for the last two years of the project
  • Co-design solar energy related now-casted, STF and past time series datasets with Greek national TSO and DSO and the ministry of renewable energy of Egypt. Showcase these products for the last two years of the project and provide an assessment of their possible expansion in pan-European level.
  • Provide platforms showcasing the above mentioned co-ordinated EO related solar energy products targeting citizens, business and the scientific community.
/ Services

Launch of the new SENSE based and upscaled solar energy monitoring application for Europe and North Africa!

This real-time service uses and produces big data for 1.5 million pixels every 15 minutes based on the Solar Energy Nowcasting SystEm (SENSE) which was designed, developed and applied as a pilot in the framework of the EU-funded projects BEYOND, GEO-CRADLE and e-shape. SENSE exploits advanced technical capacities of Earth Observation data sources in combination with scientific measurement, radiative transfer and machine learning modeling results. Through E-SHAPE, the nowadays short-term forecasting techniques will be incorporated into SENSE, introducing the so-called nextSENSE showcase.


/ ID Card
Expected outcome of the pilot

A service that will provide a Pan-European scale scientific  information about solar radiation/energy forecast and business oriented information on management and planning on Distribution System Operators, private companies and individual solar energy related users.

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