Solar Forecasting & Smart Grids

Currently in the Netherlands there are more and more developments in the field of Smart Grids. At the same time there is a rapid growth of the production of solar power. More solar energy will make it necessary to integrate PV into the grid, causing greater unpredictability in the energy supply. How can the integration of a large amount of PV be realised cost-effectively? How can smart grids and demand response ensure an effective link between supply and demand of solar energy?

The project 'Solar Forecasting & Smart Grids’ is an important contribution to the solution by accurately predicting the supply of solar electricity. In a collaboration between Ecofys, DNV GL, and Utrecht University a Solar Forecasting Service is being developed. It involves using existing PV installations as power sensors. The first prototype of the forecasting system will be validated in 2015, by using real-time data from 200 Utrecht households with their own solar panels. Every two seconds, power data is transmitted to a central computer. The data is analysed and the forecast of solar energy production for the next few minutes to hours is calculated.

The forecasting service allows better balancing between electricity supply and demand, both locally and at regional and national level. Through Solar Forecasting the dispatch of conventional production, of demand and of energy storage can be better planned and controlled. This makes the functionality of solar PV Forecasting extremely useful for PV-owners, grid operators, and balance responsible parties.

For more details (in Dutch), please visit:


Lou Ramaekers
Energy Systems and Markets
Solar panels on roof  (c) fotolia