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Accurate Solar Power Forecasts for Stadtwerke Munich

Alexander Stauch
Dr. Alexander Stauch
Head of Marketing

Meteomatics supports the solar business of Stadtwerke München, one of the largest energy and infrastructure companies in Germany, with precise solar power forecasts. The solar power forecasts improve Stadtwerke München's day-to-day electricity trading business and optimize the integration of solar power into the electricity market.

The production of solar power and other renewable energies is highly dependent on weather conditions. When the sky is blue and the sun is shining, for example, more solar power is produced, while windy weather produces more wind power. For the electricity market to function in terms of supply and demand, it is important that both electricity supply and demand can be forecast and matched. This is much more difficult with renewable energy than with a central power plant (e.g., gas, coal, or nuclear), where the amount of electricity produced is not dependent on the weather. With conventional power generation, it is therefore easier to say how much electricity can be made available compared to generation from renewables.

Why the Electricity Market and Its Suppliers Need Precise Power Forecasts

To ensure a functioning electricity market, electricity suppliers must indicate in advance how much electricity they can make available to the market. This information is provided for the same day (intraday) and for the following day (day head). In some cases, information is also provided for longer periods. If there is a deviation from the specified amount of electricity that a company can provide, balancing energy must be used, which usually has to be purchased at a high price. An inaccurate forecast thus usually leads to increased (opportunity) costs.

Power Forecasts as a Prerequisite for the Energy Turnaround

Precise power forecasting is therefore not only important for the daily business of utilities in terms of cost optimization, but also for the successful integration of renewable energies into the power grid. Precise power forecasts for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal energy thus help to drive the energy transition both technically and economically and are of central importance for the change towards more sustainable energy. As solar power and other renewables continue to expand in the future, accurate power forecasts are an essential component for the successful and economical integration of renewables into the electricity market.

SWM operates over 40 photovoltaic and solar thermal plants in the Munich region alone. In addition, there are two solar parks in Germany and a solar power plant in Spain. Further plants are planned.

Solar power plant photovoltaik anlage mgs gewerbehof foto swm

Photovoltaic system on the roof of the MGS Gewerbehof in Ständlerstrasse

The Accuracy of the Forecasts Is Crucial!

The accuracy of the forecasts depends on various factors. The availability and integration of (spatially and temporally) high-resolution and precise weather data, such as radiation, UV index, cloud cover, temperature and many more, are crucial for the most accurate power forecasts in the solar power sector. However, there are other influencing factors besides weather. These include the characteristics of the solar power plant, such as the installed capacity, the tilt angle of the solar panels, the orientation (compass direction), and other technical specifications.

In order for a forecast to continuously improve, in most cases it is also compared with the live data (the actual production volume) of the power plants. An excellent forecast is thus made up of three factors: first-class weather data, consideration of the technical conditions of the power plant, and consideration of the actual quantities of electricity produced.

Stadtwerke München Has Benchmarked

Meteomatics takes all three of the above factors into account. In this way, Meteomatics is able to provide extremely precise power forecasts. After several months of market screening, Stadtwerke München (SWM) decided to use Meteomatics' forecasts. SWM is one of the largest municipal companies in Germany and supplies over 1 million customers with energy and other services every day. SWM's efforts and endeavors in the area of renewable energy are particularly noteworthy.

Meteomatics Is Proud of Its Cooperation With SWM

SWM is a future-oriented energy provider that is actively shaping the energy transition and is always looking for innovative, market-ready solutions in the field of renewable energies. Meteomatics is therefore very proud to support SWM with solar power forecasts in the integration and expansion of renewable energies and thus contribute to the successful success of the energy transition. SWM is very satisfied with the delivered forecasts.

About Stadtwerke München

As the municipal energy expert for the state capital of Munich, Stadtwerke München (SWM) is one of the largest energy and infrastructure companies in Germany. They supply the city with energy (electricity, natural gas, district heating, district cooling) and with fresh drinking water in a safe and climate-friendly manner. SWM also operates 18 indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Its transport subsidiary MVG is responsible for environmentally and urbanely compatible mobility with the subway, bus, and streetcar as well as with new innovative mobility solutions. SWM is investing in the further expansion of renewable energy generation for electricity, heating, and cooling, in the nationwide expansion of fiber optics and in the electrification of private transport. In cooperation with strong partners, SWM continues to develop proven concepts and drive innovations forward.

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