Renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind are notorious for being unpredictable. That may change with the advent of the Previento System, a new type of software developed at Oldenburg University in Germany.
The software, which uses weather models from multiple weather reporting services, is able to predict both the amount of energy a specific German wind park can produce as well as the total amount of energy wind parks around the country can produce. Predictions are available up to ten days in advance, and error rates are within 5% in 70% of the cases in Germany.
Oldenburg’s software will be instrumental in helping German grid operators predict how much fossil-fuel power is necessary to supplement wind energy at any given time. Additionally, it could play a large role in energy prices, since more wind power availability means lower prices.
While the Previento System is not yet available outside of Germany, it may be soon—Spain, the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Ireland have all expressed interest in it. And why wouldn’t they? If wind power becomes predictable, it also becomes a much more attractive alternative to fossil fuels.
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