Analysing wind forecasting in the Irish energy market

It is expected that Ireland will see greater penetration of wind generation in the next 20 years. According to the Tomorrow Energy Scenarios (TES) installed capacity forecast Ireland will have between 6GW to 8.2GW by 2040.

With wind generation growth set to continue, forecasting wind accurately will become increasingly important. Research from Cornwall Insight Ireland shows that wind generation has been under forecast across 2019, with 228 days experiencing higher than forecast wind output.

The below graph shows the distribution of the percentage difference between actual wind generation against EirGrid’s wind forecast year-on-year.

A graph showing year-on-year wind forecast accuracy

Joe Camish Analyst at Cornwall Insight Ireland, said:

“As Ireland heads towards a future where renewable generation – in particular wind power – becomes more prevalent. Predicting the weather and more importantly, the wind has never been more crucial, to be able to better balance supply and demand in the SEM.

“Wind forecasting in Ireland over the past year has been more conservative with research from Cornwall Insight Ireland highlighting that of the 228 days where wind output was higher than forecast more than half of these days were 5-10% higher than expected. The previous year experienced more extreme episodes of generation being >25% lower or higher than forecast.

“As we get closer to the year’s end, we can see that forecasting, fewer extreme events have occurred throughout the year compared to 2018. This indicates that the system operators’ forecasts have improved year-on-year, an important development for balancing the system and for market participants actively trading and operating in the SEM.”