Ministry plans weather forecasting programme for wind, solar energy sectors

PTI New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2021

Secretary in the Ministry, Rajeevan, said these forecasts would help the industries working in the sectors as they are highly dependent on it

The Earth Sciences Ministry's 2021-2026 plan will have weather forecasting activities for the wind and solar energy sectors, where the weather plays a crucial role, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Addressing a workshop on “Meteorology Forecast for Wind and Solar Energy Generation: Current Status and Perspective”, Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) M Rajeevan said there are challenges in weather prediction for the wind and solar energy sectors. The forecasts have been found to be much skilful on a daily scale. However, due to increasing demand and aspirations by the stakeholders, a need has been felt to revisit the approaches currently being used in wind and solar energy forecasts, he noted.

Govt exploring all options

Stating that the government is exploring all possible options of going for new and renewable energy and cutting down on fossil fuel emission, Rajeevan said the MoES has a social responsibility to help the industries working in the wind and energy sectors in the country by way of providing accurate weather forecasts on which these sectors are highly dependent. “The MoES has a good programme for 2021-2026 for activities related to weather forecast for the wind and solar energy sectors," he said.

Also read: Holistic approach needed to harness marine resources for national growth: Government

The 2021-2026 plan has a layout of what major projects the ministry will undertake during this period.

Rajeevan also asked the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), both under the MoES, to take the lead in this. “We also recognise the difficulty in meeting the requirements of the wind and solar energy sectors because you need daily localised and location-specific forecasts. You also need a very high-frequency forecast of every 15 minutes or so," he said.

Rajeevan said forecasting for the wind energy sector becomes especially difficult in hill areas where windmills are installed. As far as solar energy is concerned, it is very easy to give a forecast for 24-48 hours in a clear sky. But when it comes to cloudy sky, aerosols clouding, the forecast can go wrong, he pointed out. “So we have challenged (ourselves) from our side to meet the requirements of the wind and energy sectors,” he said.

Published on July 15, 2021

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