Federal Agencies Team On Forecasting

Sure, it’s helpful to know what the weather is going to be like if you’re planning a picnic. But when it comes to many types of renewable energy projects, accurate weather forecasting is more than helpful–it’s also essential to maximizing efficiencies.

Towards that end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Commerce (DOC) recently announced a new agreement to collaborate on renewable energy modeling and weather forecasting designed to help the nation’s businesses and entrepreneurs make more effective use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar and wave power.

Wind Turbines

image via ITOCHU

This agreement is expected to aid in the development and dissemination of better information on weather and climate patterns and improved modeling of the variability of the wind, sun, water, ocean currents, providing a clearer picture of the economic viability of renewable energy technologies that are dependent on short-term and longer-term trends. The need for such information has already been identified by several key government reports, including the DOE’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, which calls for improved wind forecasting techniques to enhance grid system operations.

“This collaboration will bring together scientists and experts across the federal government to support our efforts to integrate renewable energy into our power system,” said Acting Under Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi, in a statement. The collaboration effort will include a working group from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the DOC’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with a mission to identify areas for continued focus and research, as well as to help lay out the next steps for improving the efficiency of renewable resources and better integrating renewable energy sources into the grid.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.