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EO for Energy - recorded

Mon 4 November from 13:30 to 14:30 in Nicholls

Recording: Watch here!

Panelists (Kate Vinot, Natasha Sadoff, Simon Troman, Thierry Ranchin and Michael Davidson) discussing the importance of maintaining communication around the issues of using EO in renewable energy forecasting.



In many countries the proportion of energy generation by renewable energy is increasing rapidly, meaning that that the electricity supply is becoming increasingly dependent upon weather and climate. Weather and climate data and forecasts are critical for the effective integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid and to support the transformation of the energy industry.

The session aims to progress the use of Earth observation data and services in support of decision making for safe, reliable, resilient and productive operation of the major electricity operators. The session aims to enhance the links between the energy industry and the three main priorities of GEO (UN SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and the Sendai Framework).

The session will be led by a gender diverse panel of expert speakers. Presentations will cover GEO-VENER, industry requirements for Earth observations, challenges, plans and future opportunities.


Chair: Kate Vinot – Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Michael Davidson – Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Natasha Sadoff – Battelle

Thierry Ranchin – MINES ParisTech

Simon Troman - Australian Bureau of Meteorology



Statement outcome: It is important to continue to raise awareness of the importance of Earth Observation data in regards to reliably forecasting supply from renewable energy fuel sources and demand in urban areas. The same issues around accurately forecasting and accessing data to better plan for the use of renewable energy are being experienced around the world, with different approaches to resolve the issues being explored. Communication between groups needs to continue to solve these issues.


  • There has been an increasing focus on supplying energy with less impact on the planet.
  • Sources such as wind and solar are becoming increasingly important in powering our cities – important to look at how Earth Observations fit into this process.
  • Adelaide, South Australia is a key example of city becoming increasingly focused on renewable energy to supply its energy demands. Currently a 1000 megawatt generator due to solar installations. As a result we need to be able to understand the energy demands of small, specific zones.
  • Despite the increasing role of renewable energy, we need to improve our forecasting abilities to be able to track the future supply of certain renewable fuels for reliable energy supply.
  • AEMO is collaborating with Bureau of Meteorology to access more accurate, high quality, real-time weather data to assist in determining energy demands in real time for specific zones to get more data more often to assist in forecasting on a four-second basis.
  • GEO Vision for Energy (GEO-VENER) was established 2016 to work explore the link between renewable energy and GEO to support the vision of energy access for all.
  • Key focus of GEO-VENER is to promote collaboration and to improve the use of EO data by energy suppliers.
  • This collaboration is important to a range of groups, including NASA – providing funding to improve understanding of EO data and its role in renewable energy supply.
  • EO data can cover large weather observations but also problem-specific such as issues around building shadows impacting the effectiveness of roof-top solar panels.
  • Addressing problems such as cloud cover, shadows, UV penetration can assist in developing high quality solar forecasting and optimising solar energy production.
  • While the technology for renewable energy production and storage is well known, EO data is important to improve our understanding of the fuel sources (weather) to make a secure and reliable energy supply.
  • Over the last few years our understanding of how much renewable energy could be used within an energy supply system has changed from 30% to an expectation of up to 100% in the near future (for the first time, the massive Australian electricity grid was > 50% powered by renewable energy on the day after this event).
  • In order to make this happen, we need to understand demand, which is becoming an increasing issue. For instance as the number of solar panels used by households increases behind the meter, energy suppliers are recording this as drop in demand, which is not necessarily the reality because the grid is being used as back-up supply
  • when self-generation drops such as in the event of rapid cloud cover.
  • To overcome this issue, we need to increase our understanding of the demands of specific sites and to improve our ability to forecast the supply of renewable energy fuels.



  • Communication to raise awareness and education on the need for EO in renewable energy supply and demand management is critical. We need to know what work is being done out there to maximize the positive impact.
  • In terms of finance: Ideally, looking to upscale the capability of weather prediction vendors and encourage cross-over to the energy market.
  • The ability to create probabilistic ensemble weather forecasting would be invaluable the get the best estimate of fuel supply for those running grids.
  • A mix of renewable types, including hydro and wave power, is a good way to be able to better manage supply and demand balance. The presenters spoke about the role that hydro is playing in Australia to provide this balancing supply.


Australian Bureau of Meteorology, GEO-VENER, MINES ParisTech, Battelle, NASA, AEMO


Kate Vinot (


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