The Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Programme (widely referred to as “IEA Wind“) has recently approved for release a set of documents entitled, “IEA Recommended Practice for Selecting Renewable Power Forecasting Solutions”. The ultimate objective of this set of documents is to (1) maximize the value of renewable energy forecast information in operational decision-making applications and (2) significantly reduce the costs of integrating large amounts of wind and solar generation assets into grid systems through more efficient management of the renewable generation variability. It addresses the issue that many current operational forecast solutions are not properly optimized for their intended applications. The documents were authored by a group of international experts, which collaborated within one of the activities under IEA Wind Task 36 (Wind Power Forecasting). The group of experts included researchers from universities and government laboratories, commercial forecast providers and users of operational forecasts. The set consists of three documents.
The first of the three documents is entitled “Forecast Solution Selection Process“. It provides guidance via a decision support tool for the design and implementation of a process to select an optimal forecast solution for a specific application. The second document in the set deals with “Designing and Executing Forecasting Benchmarks and Trials“. This part provides recommendations on how to design and execute a forecasting trial to provide high quality information that can be used to cost-effectively identify the best forecast solution for a user’s set of applications. The third document “Evaluation of Forecasts and Forecast Solutions” provides guidance on how to formulate an evaluation process to obtain representative, significant and relevant information about an existing forecast solution or differences in forecast performance among a set of candidate solutions. The guideline also encourages forecast users to establish a framework of metrics that help identify, whether the user’s forecast performance criteria effectively incentivize the forecast provider to optimize towards the forecast target variable that has the most value for the user’s application(s).
The IEA Wind Task 36 group is eagerly seeking feedback about the format, content and practical value of these recommended practices. Feedback can be provided via the Task 36 web portal, emails to the authors, or as part of several “feedback” workshops that will be conducted by the Task 36 group over the next year. The first workshop was held at the International Conference on Energy and Meteorology in June 2019. The presentation with results from that workshop is published on the Task 36 website. The second of these workshops was held on 17 October 2019 in conjunction with the 18th International Wind Integration Workshop in Dublin, Ireland. There was another Open Space Workshop, and the questions and results are presented in this paper. We also discussed this on the IEA Task 36 Workshop in Glasgow, 21 January 2020. The results of the discussion are in this paper, and if you prefer video, it is here.