Success Stories » International Energy Agency

CASE STUDY: International Energy Agency

Profile of the Organization

The International Energy Agency is an autonomous agency established in 1974 and based in Paris. The main IEA decision-making body is the Governing Board, composed of energy ministers from each member country or their senior representatives.

The IEA is the energy forum for 28 advanced economies. IEA member governments are committed to taking joint measures to meet oil supply emergencies. They also have agreed to share energy information, to co-ordinate their energy policies and to co-operate in the development of rational energy programs that ensure energy security, encourage economic growth and protect the environment. These provisions are embodied in the Agreement on an International Energy Programme, the treaty pursuant to which the Agency was established in 1974.

A Secretariat, with a staff of energy experts recruited on a competitive basis primarily from OECD member countries, supports the work of the Governing Board and subordinate bodies. The IEA Secretariat is headed by an Executive Director appointed by the Governing Board. The Secretariat collects and analyzes energy data, organizes high-level workshops with world experts on new topics and themes, assesses member and non-member countries’ domestic energy policies and programs, makes global energy projections based on differing scenarios, and prepares studies and concrete policy recommendations for government

FOUNDING OBJECTIVES

  • To maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions.
  • To promote rational energy policies in a global context through co-operative relations with non-member countries, industry and international organizations.
  • To operate a permanent information system on the international oil market.
  • To improve the world’s energy supply and demand structure by developing alternative energy sources and increasing the efficiency of energy use.
  • To promote international collaboration on energy technology.
  • To assist in the integration of environmental and energy policies.


The IEA is strongly committed to helping countries meet both energy and environmental goals. In 2005, IEA were mandated by the G8 to provide recommendations to achieve “a clean, clever and competitive energy future”. Since that time, the IEA has been working on crucial energy and climate issues with the G8, the G20, the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), as well as continuing existing collaboration with other organizations such as the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IEA feels that further support for the development and deployment of new technologies is essential.

The IEA is ideally placed to continue its role as an international forum for sharing information and ideas on the rational management of world energy resources. Benefiting from sources in government and industry, its extensive statistical work and expanding databases provide information that contributes to openness and confidence in the energy markets. IEA analyses of the energy policies of member and non-member countries and its recommendations to governments contribute to more effective policies and greater co-operation in the energy field.

SERVICES AND/OR GOODS PROVIDED

Core Businesses

  • As energy markets have changed, so has the IEA. Its mandate has broadened to incorporate the “Three E’s” of balanced energy policy making: energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
  • Current work focuses on climate change policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world, especially major consumers and producers of energy like China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries.


The IEA has the following core business lines in terms of research reports produced and sharing of information:

  • Emergency Response Mechanisms - set up under the 1974 Agreement on an International Energy Programme (I.E.P.), which has been signed by all member countries. IEA coordinates actions during emergency situations regarding energy supplies.
  • Oil Markets - analyses and monitors short- and medium-term developments on the international oil market to help member governments anticipate and respond promptly and effectively to changes in market conditions. IEA prepares current oil market assessments from information submitted member governments, international oil companies and others. Issues covered include: oil exploration and production developments; supply, demand, price and refining trends; OECD stocks; and international trade in crude and products. The IEA makes much of this benchmark analysis available to governments, industry and the public in its Oil Market Reports
  • Gas Markets - publishes an annual Natural Gas Market Review which examines developments and projects trends in international gas markets.
  • Energy Statistics – The IEA is the world’s leading source of energy statistics, assembling annual, quarterly and monthly reports on oil, gas, coal, electricity and renewables, as well as on overall energy supply, consumption, prices and taxes. Teams of experts visit member countries regularly to make on-the- spot reviews of energy developments. Others prepare projections and assessments, or report on research into new technologies.
  • Promotes international cooperation to further improve the quality, timeliness and coverage of country, regional and global energy statistics. The Joint Oil Data Initiative, launched by six international organizations and now housed at the International Energy Forum Secretariat in Riyadh, constitutes a concrete example of such co-operation.
  • Global Energy Dialogue - hosts periodic multilateral technical-level meetings of experts from energy producing and consuming countries to promote understanding and communication, organizes seminar/ workshops on specific topics such as emergency response policies, energy efficiency and regulatory issues with non-member countries, and is developing a more formal training and capacity building programs.
  • Energy & the Environment - analyzes and interprets the technology and policy options that may be implemented to mitigate climate change. Work is underway on climate-friendly technologies, with research on topics as diverse as renewable energy, energy efficiency and new carbon-capture and storage technologies. New intellectual ground has been broken with work on “energy indicators”.
  • Energy Efficiency - promotes energy efficiency policy and technology in buildings, appliances, transport and industry. IEA analyses identified best practices, highlighting the possibilities for energy efficiency improvements and policy approaches.
  • Energy technology Innovation - initiatives include a series of roadmaps, which develop the growth path for a particular technology from today to 2050 and identify milestones for development, financing, policy and public engagement that need to be achieved to realize the technology’s full potential. The IEA Technology Collaboration Programme deals with technologies for fossil fuels, renewable energy, efficient energy end-use and fusion power, as well as electric power technologies and Energy Technology Perspectives 2008 technology assessment methodologies.
  • Energy Technology Network - made up of 41 Implementing Agreements on key areas of energy technology. More than 5000 experts from IEA member and non-member countries, and from industry, participate. The Agreements offer a flexible framework for the international co-ordination of basic science, research and development, and demonstration and deployment of energy technologies. Benefits include pooled resources and shared costs, harmonization of standards, and hedging of technical risks. More recent IEA technology initiatives include organizing an international technology platform to help accelerate the spread of low-carbon technologies globally.
  • Policy Analysis and Cooperation - IEA member countries co-operate to increase their collective energy security through diversification of their energy sources and improved energy efficiency, while ensuring economic competitiveness and protecting the environment. Every four years the policies of individual member countries are reviewed in-depth by their peers. In intervening years, brief standard reviews update the main energy policy developments and report on progress in implementing the recommendations of the in-depth reviews.


ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organization which acts as energy policy advisor to 28 member countries to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for their citizens.

  • The participant countries include: Canada, EU, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and USA.
  • Provides an international, North American and Canadian perspective.


HUMAN RESOURCES

The IEA employs approximately 190 staff - primarily energy experts and statisticians from its 28 member countries. Many initiatives are undertaken by university professors from the member countries. Professors submit a research idea / initiative to the IEA and if accepted the IEA will sponsor the initiative in terms of distributing the material/ research produced, providing profile to the research on their website and in some cases providing the internet portal. IEA does not fund such research; the professors need to find the funding from their government, and/or their university and/or university research institutes or other institutes. In some cases the professors and government representatives do not receive any funding for the research, but volunteer their own time in order to pursue their academic interest in the subject area.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT/TRANSFER APPROACH

BUSINESS DRIVERS FOR EMBARKING ON KM/KT

  • Reduce the cost of planning and deploying solar energy systems, improve efficiency of solar energy systems through more accurate and complete solar resource information, and increase the value of the solar energy produced by solar systems.
    • Improve data reliability and quality of the data
    • Data standardization and benchmarking of international solar resource data sets to ensure worldwide inter-comparability
    • Improve accessibility of information to members
  • IEA has been active in KM initiatives
  • In 2004 the solar industry, under the IEA, established a Solar Resource KM Taskforce
  • The Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Implementing Agreement Programme was established in 1977, one of the first collaborative R&D programmes of the IEA. The Programme's work is unique in that it is accomplished through the international collaborative effort of experts from Member countries and the European Commission.
    • The benefits of this approach are: accelerates the pace of technology development, promotes standardization, enhances national R&D programmes, permits national specialization, and saves time and money.
  • The SHC Programme’s participants have been conducting joint projects on advance active solar, passive solar, daylighting and the application of these technologies in buildings and other areas, such as agriculture and industry.


Business Drivers for Task 36 KM/KT Solar Energy Initiative

  • Knowledge of solar energy resources is critical when designing, building and operating successful solar water heating systems, concentrating solar power systems, and photovoltaic systems. The ability to forecast solar resources reliably for up to 72 hours ahead is one important way to assist solar system operators how to best manage the output of their systems, especially in those cases where these systems are connected to the utility grid. One way to develop these forecasts is to adapt existing forecasting methods to address specific solar resource forecast estimates. However, little information is currently available on how well these solar resource forecasts actually compare with what actually occurred in specific locations.
  • Task 36 is focusing on the development of products that will reduce risks in project implementation, increase access to key data products, and provide guidance on the reliability of various solar data sets.


APPROACH TO INTRODUCING KM/KT

Each IEA project, unless a core business service, is unique and the approach used is dependent upon the researchers undertaking the studies and /or the organizations partnering with IEA to produce the studies / undertake the initiatives.

KM/KT POSITIONS

Depending on the type of study or initiative, different subject matter experts are involved. In the case of Task 36 the work is being undertaken by university professors and one member of the taskforce has the responsibility for development and maintenance of the internet-based portal that disseminates the research and answers questions from industry companies, academics and the public. For Task 36, the professor is a specialist in solar energy but has taken on the coordination and portal role and the coordinator role is being funded for four months annually by his university and the Government of France. Only the coordinator role is funded, the research work is volunteer based on pursuing academic interests and for teaching purposes at the university where he works.

More Information

  • http://www.iea-shc.org/task36/index.php - this web site is the official web site of IEA/SHC Task 36 "Solar Resource Knowledge Management" - a five-year task initiated by IEA SHC Programme Implementing Agreement.
  • http://www.iea-shc.org/task36/index.php - this web site is the official web site of IEA/SHC Task 36 "Solar Resource Knowledge Management" - a five-year task initiated by IEA SHC Programme Implementing Agreement.


KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS / SERVICES

KM PRODUCTS/SERVICES

Product 1: Task36 "Solar Resource Knowledge Management & Knowledge Transfer”
Task 36 is a five-year collaborative project with IEA’s SolarPACES and Photovoltaic Power Systems that will be completed in June 2010.

The KM project lead is located in the US and has a Canadian member. Project Leader: David Renne, US.

The participants in Task 36: Solar Resource Knowledge Management represent research institutions and private consultancies from around the world, and are engaged in producing information products on solar energy resources. The work is intended to assist policymakers; project developers and industry companies in advancing renewable energy programs worldwide.

Drivers

  • Requests from industry
  • Research interests of several academics – primarily from Germany and Switzerland. Task 36 was created by researchers who knew each other / were familiar with the research of task group members (rather like a virtual community of practice).


In 2004 the solar industry, under the IEA, established a Solar Resource KM Taskforce to discuss the sector’s needs and to develop a work-plan to address those needs. The participant countries included: Canada, EU, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA. The industry realized that it needed new tools which were not available in the marketplace, that international R&D collaboration was needed to speed up the development of the sector, a need to make more effective use of synergies within the renewables sector, a need to develop solar resource tools and databases and to be able to offer a wider range of products to more customers. Specific needs identified:

  • More site and time specific information
  • Improved accuracy through commonly acknowledged validation and standardized products
  • Customized easy to access products shaped towards user needs
  • Global geographic information
  • Improved service availability and reliability
  • Improved spatial and temporal coverage and higher accuracy


Project Resourcing

  • Formed a task group and submitted to IEA for its consideration
  • IEA agreed to sponsor the portal and the researchers were left to fund their own funding. Approximately 66% of researchers were not funded for this initiative.
  • Government of France funded four months annually for a coordinator role (the role of the individual responsible for the portal)
  • IEA has copyright of the reports produced under this Taskforce for IEA, but does not have copyright of the research produced.


Goal
The goal of IEA/SHC Task36 "Solar Resource Knowledge Management" is to provide the solar energy industry, the electricity sector, governments, and renewable energy organizations and institutions with the most suitable and accurate information of the solar radiation resources at the Earth's surface in easily-accessible formats and understandable quality metrics. The scope of solar resource assessment information includes historic data sets and currently derived data products using satellite imagery and other means.

Objectives
The objectives of the work is to provide the solar energy industry, the electricity sector, and system operators, particularly those operating large-scale grid-tied PV systems, with information on how reliably solar radiation resources can be forecast at specific locations, ideally on an hourly basis, for up to 72 hours ahead. The scope of this particular task is to “benchmark” various solar resource forecasting schemes developed by research institutions and private companies with ground-based solar measurement data, and even with actual PV system output.
There are three (3) main objectives of Task 36:

  • To provide further standardization and benchmarking of international solar resource data sets to ensure worldwide inter-comparability and acceptance;
  • To provide improved data reliability, availability and accessibility in formats that address specific user needs; and
  • To develop methods that improve the quality and the spatial and temporal coverage, with customized solar resource products, including reliable solar radiation forecasts.


Description of Task 36
Task 36 is both a KM and KT initiative. The KM component is the development of essentially a repository of studies, research and tools. Each participating university’s data is combined and made available through an IEA portal that provides the information in a standardized format using internet based tools.

The KT component is the dissemination of the research and the use of the tools by industry participants and any other interested parties. The KT component is the actual portal used by industry firms to access the results of the various TaskForce studies. The portal is standardized; information is available only in English and contact information is provided. Portal users can email any technical questions and the KM/KT expert on the Taskforce answers the questions.

No registration or fee is required to access the portal and the portal is open to anyone (industry firms, public, academics, members and non members of IEA).

Background
TaskForce 36 developed out of a SoDa initiative to disseminate information to industry participants on solar energy. Information on SoDa os provided below:

SoDa Service answers the needs of industry and research for information on solar resource, solar energy and solar radiation data and its exploitation. Examples are renewable energy systems (photovoltaics, solar thermal for water heating, solar plants, solar heating and cooling), energy efficiency in building or solar energy system, architecture, daylighting in building, environment, meteorology, climatology, global change, health, air quality and pollution, ocean, water (reservoir, eutrophication), primary production, vegetation, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, material weathering...

SoDa is a multi-disciplinary consortium, which gathers companies and researchers with the necessary expertise in solar radiation and information and communications technologies. Customers and users are represented as partners in the consortium via the involvement of commercial private vendors of solar radiation databases and of representatives of large international or local environmental research and development programs. Its users are primarily industry firms.

The SoDa Service offers a one-stop access to a large set of information relating to solar radiation and its use. The services are organized in categories of services or domains (e.g., air quality, or solar energy systems). This service itself is not a warehouse. The innovation is that it is made of an Intelligent System (SoDa IS) that builds links to other services that are located in various countries. To answer a request, the SoDa service invokes several resources to elaborate the appropriate answer and ensures the flow and exchange of information between the services and itself, as well as with the customer/user. A service can be a database (e.g., solar radiation database or temperature database), or an algorithm that performs on data to create a new information, or an application that provides an information that can be directly used by professionals.

The SoDa Service comprises applications and a number of databases and data sets about long-term time-series of irradiance or irradiation, temperature, rainfall, longwave radiation, Linke turbidity factor, atmospheric turbidity, clear-skies properties, PAR (photosynthetically active radiation), spectral distribution and more. The SoDa Service contains several services and its content is evolving as additional resources (databases, algorithms, end-user applications) are populating the SoDa Service.

The SoDa Service can be launched by the item "Services" in the menu on top or "Access a Service" on the left menu in the SoDa website (www.soda-is.com). The domains are displayed on the main screen and the user selects the domain of interest in the list. When activated, a service displays a request interface that depends on each service. This interface displays a map and a form Details on inputs are given in the service information page. The map displayed shows the geographical coverage of the selected service. The geographical selection can be made in three ways:

  • Click on the map.
  • Enter latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. (Information is provided on how to convert geographical coordinates in degrees and minutes into decimal degrees);
  • Search by name- then enter name of the desired city.


The selection of the time period is usually done by selecting two dates or a month (Other cases are possible. Several formats of outputs are also possible, although HTML is the default format.

SoDa to Task 36
In 1999, funded by the European Union, SoDa made a prototype of a portal that could provide solar research, data and maps to industry users allowing for more uniform access. The project began with 4 users and within a short time had over 100 users, which encouraged the researchers to provide the SoDa services through a web-based portal. By 2008 SoDa had over 40,000 users worldwide, without any marketing to industry. Researchers realized there was a definite interest and need in the services being provided.

In 2008 SoDa conducted a survey to ascertain who was using the services. The response rate was low, 170 responses, however of those responses over 66% were industry company users and the other third were from academics researching within the industry sector. SoDa also kept track of the questions submitted through the website and generally received several emails a day and primarily from industry companies.

Several problems were identified with SoDa (which is essentially a KT tool for the dissemination of industry information, data, knowledge and simulations). The key problem is the ability of firms to transfer the software to their own IT infrastructure. This was very difficult to perform. Since SoDa was launched new web based tools are now available and it was decided to build a new version of SoDa that was more accessible to users; could be accessed in different formats; would use standardized formats and would include more knowledge, studies and datasets from universities across the world. This new launch of SoDa was the ‘birth” of Task 36. The new portal through Task 36 is web based and so all users have access to the data and simulations and there are no concerns with IT functionality. Users can now run their own simulated models using the data regardless of their IT platforms.

Task 36 - Anticipated Outcomes
Achieving these objectives would reduce the cost of planning and deploying solar energy systems, improve efficiency of solar energy systems through more accurate and complete solar resource information, and increase the value of the solar energy produced by solar systems.

Task 36 - Specific KM needs identified:
The needs for this initiative were identified by university professors and representatives from the energy and from industry companies. The TaskForce members identified several industry companies in their member countries interested in the furthering solar energy research and dissemination of research results to industry participants as well as academics. Each TaskForce member was expected to interact with identified interested industry participants in their member countries.

Specific needs to be addressed included:

  • More site and time specific information; Improved accuracy through commonly acknowledged validation and standardized products;
  • Customized easy to access products shaped towards user needs;
  • Global geographic information;
  • Improved service availability and reliability; Improved spatial and temporal coverage and higher accuracy.


Task 36 Approach / Method

  • Defining the products and services of the key industry stakeholders
  • Bringing together the leading experts from all disciplines needed to best solve the questions
  • Providing globally comparable products based on the most suitable data and best methods from around the world
  • International cooperation is a “must”


The KM activities were grouped into three sub-tasks:

  1. Standard qualification for solar resource products;
  2. Development of a common structure for archiving, processing and accessing solar resource information;
  3. Improved techniques for solar resource characterization and forecasting to enhance quality and develop new and more versatile products.

The KM activities identified for the 5 year work program (2005-2010) were independent from each other, were comprehensive and were charged with leading to tangible deliverables and products. Solar resource information is defined as “all data describing site and time specific physical parameters of solar radiation at the Earth’s surface needed for the design and operation of solar energy systems”. (Presentation by R. Myer, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, EC Joint research Centre Symposium, Italy, Dec 2004 slide 26). Relevant solar applications include: building and cooling (SHC); photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power systems (CSP) for producing electricity and process heat. KM is being used to flow information to serve the evolving applications of these technologies, including their role in distributed energy networks.

The KM activities were grouped into three sub-tasks:

  1. Standard qualification for solar resource products – setting standard for solar resource products, validation in accordance with worldwide comparability and acceptance. The subtasks involved:
    • Select / qualify measurement data set
    • Measures for model quality for product validation
    • Method for establishing benchmarking of products
    • Application of benchmarking procedures
  2. Development of a common structure for archiving, processing and accessing solar resource information (e.g. through a single portal). The subtasks involved:
    • Identifying commonly used software by end users
    • Developing data exchange protocols
    • Developing a network of resource providers
    • Evaluating legal aspects
    • Automatic access by commercial applications
  3. Improved techniques for solar resource characterization and forecasting to enhance quality and develop new and more versatile products. The activities entailed the development of eight solar industry products (radiation products, satellite models, micro siting) and analytical and forecasting tools.

RESULTS

2009 Highlights:

  • 2008 highlights focused on a preliminary assessment of solar resource forecasting capabilities. This continues to be a major area of emphasis within the task, and therefore a major highlight of 2009 is the gaining of further understanding of a variety of solar resource forecasting methods. Solar resource forecasting is becoming of growing importance towards the cost-effective and successful operation of large-scale grid-tied solar energy systems, both PV and CSP. Utilities and system operators can use the forecasts to predict the approximate amount of energy they can rely upon over the next several hours to the next two to three days. If the operators know with sufficient certainty that the solar energy technologies operating within their system will be on or off, this information can be important to them for determining what other types of back-up systems they may need to plan for to meet forecasted loads.
  • One study, published in 2009, was led by Task participants from Oldenburg University (Germany). Besides Oldenburg, the study team consisted of participants from Bluesky Wetter (Austria), Meteocontrol (Germany), Meteotest (Switzerland), CENER (Spain), CIEMAT (Spain), and the University of Jaén (Spain). The study team collected high quality ground solar measurement data from throughout Europe, covering the period 1995-2004, with which to compare their various forecasting schemes.
  • The different research institutions have employed a variety of methods for developing the solar forecasts. Two institutions make use of the European Center for Mid Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) products, and then refine the forecasts with mesoscale numerical models, such as the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Other researchers use the Global Forecast System (GFS), as a starting point. Even other institutions use “learning methods” to develop their forecasts.
  • The forecast benchmarking work has already provided some useful and important results. For one, all of the forecasting methods produce lower uncertainty than persistence. In general, those methods that begin with a global forecast, such as ECMWF or GFS, and then include some post processing such as a mesoscale model produce the best results. The results also indicate that the WRF performs the best of all the mesoscale models used in the study.
  • Task participants held a Task Definition Workshop in March 2010 to develop a proposed annex for a new task with additional activities related to solar resource characterization and forecasting.
  • By July 2010 a Best Practices Guide will be published by the Task to capture the key findings of the five-year program. During 2009 the Task participants will be considering additional activities that could result in a broader scope as well as a time extension of the Task. This guide is an interactive portal that permits users to launch and operate the services and tools made available through all the research. The guide is continually being up-dated by the universities and it provides the most up to date knowledge in the field.
  • The guide provides information and not “just data”. It also provides an assessment of the quality of data available through the portal.


For more information go to: http://www.iea-shc.org/task36/publications/index.php

LESSONS LEARNED

  • Task 36 has conducted several surveys to identify industry needs and to obtain feedback on the tools, model and data available through the portal. In their experience the response rate is very low if the survey is too long; their best response was to a very short (3 questions) and targeted survey.
  • Standardization of language and of coding is very important in any KM initiative that is targeted to KT. Requires a common vocabulary among the many researchers first, and then disseminating this across the industry sector. One of the first tasks of Task 36 was to agree on a common methodology, common terminology and common coding. These tasks allow industry to use and improve their own information by being able to access and use the data and information provided through the Task 36 portal.
  • The major challenge is that the Taskforce is primarily worked on by academic volunteers who undertake the research and coordinate because of their interest in the field. If members leave then there would be no monies to maintain the portal and the data available through the portal.


A complete listing of all IEA publications is available from:
IEA Communication and Information Office 9, rue de la Fédération
75739 Paris Cedex 15 – France Tel. (33-1) 40 57 65 54 Fax: (33-1) 40 57 65 59 www.iea.org/books
Report called Sectoral approaches in Electricity www.iea.org


KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS / SERVICES

OVERVIEW OF KM AND KT BENEFITS

The target audience for the products and services emerging from work of the taskforce are the various users of solar energy applications and other stakeholders, all represented within the IEA. Target audience includes:

  • Industry: construction, PV, CSP, and SMEs involved in planning and monitoring of solar systems.
  • Solar heating and cooling
  • Concentrating solar power
  • Future solar markets – solar process heat and chemical products and water desalination and detoxification
  • Finance and insurance sector – bilateral banks, donors, venture capital, fund managers and re-insurance companies.
  • Electricity sector – network and retail utilities, rural authorities, independent power producers.
  • Governments – national, regional, local and regulatory agencies
  • NGOs and other promoters of solar energy
  • Research organizations.


BENEFITS

The benefits of developing and making available solar resource information to industry players are many, including:

  • Knowledge on solar energy potential on a regional, national, and global scale
  • Economic assessment of project feasibility for calculating solar energy yields – i.e. improved information on where systems become economically viable.
  • Site specific optimization of solar systems
  • Optimizing operations
  • Distributed power generation management
  • Market development scenarios
  • Knowledge of solar resource and real weather data critical for the development of solar energy technologies
  • Provide assistance for joint implementation projects that contribute to studies on energy and climate.
  • Improved knowledge will help to increase the usage of solar energy in the future since use is still marginal.

 

LESSONS LEARNED TO DATE

2008 and 2009 Highlights have been reported (Highlights Report SHC Task36 Solar Resource KM). Task 36 is focusing on development of products that will reduce risks in project implementation, increase access to key data products and provide guidance on the reliability of various solar data sets.

  • Development and testing of a variety of solar resource forecasting methods. This is integral to the cost effective and successful operation of large scale grid-tied solar energy systems.
  • Utilities and system operators can use the forecasts to predict the approximate amount of energy they can rely upon over the next several hours to the next 3 days.
  • Initial studies have examined 60 hour ahead hourly forecasts from publicly available forecasting sources. The forecasts were compared against measurement at three high quality solar monitoring sites in the US.
  • By 2010 a Best Practices Guide will be published by the Taskforce to capture the key findings of the five year program.