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Renewable Energy Vision
Expert analysis on the most pressing issues facing the renewable energy sector in the U.S and abroad from ACORE staff, members and supporters.

IBM Announces Breakthrough Renewable Energy Forecasting Technology

Published on 16 Aug 2013  |   Written by    |  

By Noah Ginsberg 8/16/13

The goal of any renewable energy developer or grid operator is to ensure a smooth flow of electricity stems from a power plant. And there are numerous technologies that aide project developers and grid operators to accurately forecast the weather to maximize the output and efficiency of renewable energy power plants. But none of these technologies come close to IBM’s new Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecaster (HyREF). IBM unveiled their newest forecasting systems on August 12th – built with the renowned expertise the world has come to expect from IBM.

 HyREF is a unique blend of weather forecasting, advanced imaging technology that includes “sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements”, on-site sensors that measure the direction and temperature of wind speed, and analytics, which “can produce accurate local weather forecasts within a wind farm as far as one month in advance, or in 15-minute increments.” And as recent article in the Economist points out “its[IBM] predicted the power output for up to four house in advance with 94% accuracy, compared with no more than 80% for existing methods.”

With companies like IBM creating groundbreaking technologies like HyREF, the transition to renewable energy will be quicker and more efficient. As Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn points out "Utilities around the world are employing a host of strategies to integrate new renewable energy resources into their operating systems in order to reach a baseline goal of a 25 percent renewable energy mix globally by 2025. The weather modeling and forecasting data generated from HyRef will significantly improve this process and in turn, put us one step closer to maximizing the full potential of renewable resources."

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