Electricity is now cheap, but it can soon become more expensive – energy weather forecasts help anticipate electricity supply

Solar and wind power forecasts help predict future energy production and adjust consumption accordingly. The forecast has been developed based on the research results of the BCDC Energy project at the University of Oulu, and it can be followed on the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Kolme tuulivoimalaa vasten taivasta Hailuodon Marjaniemessä ja edustalla heinikkoa ja polku.
Photo: Rodeo

Finland's prospects as a renewable energy powerhouse are growing rapidly. However, renewable energy is dependent on weather conditions, as the availability of wind and sunlight is weather-dependent. Accurate forecasts of renewable energy production are needed, among other things.

The BCDC Energy project has developed energy weather forecasts, and based on them, the Finnish Meteorological Institute has created an application for solar and wind energy that enables the use of forecasts and provides information on the current solar and wind conditions for energy production.

The solar power production forecast indicates the amount of electricity produced by solar panels based on sunlight. The application allows users to select a location-specific hourly updated forecast for solar power production for the next two days.

The wind power production forecast indicates the combined electricity production of wind turbines in Finland. The wind power forecast is available as an hourly updated forecast for the next two days and covers the entire country.

The significance of wind power production forecasts increases significantly as the number of wind turbines and the size of wind parks grow.

"As Finland develops into a renewable energy production powerhouse, we also need to become a role model in its use. As a role model, we can attract economically interesting activities to the country and sell our expertise to the world," says Professor Emeritus Rauli Svento from the Oulu Business School, University of Oulu.

Currently, electricity prices are low, but the variability of wind power increases price fluctuations, and the increasing usage also raises prices. "Anticipating future price spikes during periods of high demand and low electricity production brings savings to all electricity consumers when consumption is shifted away from peak hours," Svento explains.

As the share of renewable energy increases in electricity consumption, a significant change is predicted to occur. Previously, electricity production was increased or decreased based on the available power plants according to the current needs. However, when using weather-dependent energy sources, it is necessary to shift consumption to times when solar and wind power are available.

Therefore, it is important for both electricity producers and consumers to be able to anticipate future energy production and adjust their behavior accordingly. The energy weather forecast has been developed precisely for this purpose.

The BCDC Energy project has been led by the University of Oulu and funded by the Strategic Research Council (STN). The project ended in 2021, but the Finnish Meteorological Institute continues to publish the developed forecast on its website.

Last updated: 1.8.2023