IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - 50

T

THE DEPLOYMENT OF SOLAR-BASED ELECTRICITY
generation, especially in the form of photovoltaics (PVs), has
increased markedly in recent years due to a wide range of factors including concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, supportive government policies, and lower equipment costs. Still,
a number of challenges remain for reliable, efficient integration of solar energy. Chief among them will be developing new
tools and practices that manage the variability and uncertainty
of solar power.
Short-term uncertainty (up to a week ahead) can be
managed with many possible solutions, such as increased
demand-side participation, greater coordination to balance
allocation among areas, and deploying more flexible -but
often also more expensive-methodologies like energy storage. However, one of the most effective and economical ways
to integrate solar, particularly at current penetration levels,

is by forecasting the expected power output and using these
forecasts to more reliably and efficiently operate the system.
Solar forecasts are already used by a variety of stakeholders in the power industry. System operators use solar forecasts
to schedule generation, procure operating reserves, and ensure
sufficient flexibility to manage changes in output. Market participants use forecasts to manage their generation portfolios:
for example, in Germany, 38 GW of solar capacity is traded on
the energy market-an amount that strongly impacts market
prices so that even traders who do not sell solar energy use
solar forecasts.
Previous issues of this magazine have provided an overview of wind forecasting, including the production of wind
power forecasts and their end use. While similar to wind forecasting in many ways, solar forecasting has its own unique
characteristics, which this article will explore. In particular,

Solar Forecasting

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2015.2461351
Date of publication: 20 October 2015

50

ieee power & energy magazine

1540-7977/15©2015IEEE

november/december 2015



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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover3
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