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AMS Summer Community Meeting August 2009, Norman, Oklahoma. Future NWS Activities in Support of Renewable Energy*. Dr. David Green NOAA, NWS Office of Climate, Water & Weather Services.

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Future NWS Activities in Support of Renewable Energy*

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AMS Summer Community Meeting August 2009, Norman, Oklahoma

Future NWS Activities in Support of Renewable Energy*

Dr. David Green


Office of Climate, Water & Weather Services

* The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service.


  • Grand Challenge

  • Basic Requirements

  • Strategic Energy Review

  • Future Possibilities

  • Moving Forward

Grand Challenge

Provide climate, water, and weather information and infrastructure to support production and management of secure, reliable and sustained energy for the nation!

  • Contribute to the “smart grid,”an economic, environmental and national security imperative

  • Recognize and reduce risk of intermittent energy sources

  • Support blue-green tech innovation and job creation

Basic Requirements

  • A comprehensive and integrated source of consistent and relevant data sets and generalized forecast guidance, which the energy enterprise can tailor

  • Enduring partnerships to

    • Expand the observation network of networks

    • Enhance weather forecasts and climate scenarios

    • Increase ease of data access and availability

    • Integrate environmental management and planning

    • Infuse science & technology innovation

    • Support spatial planning

Strategic Energy Review

  • NOAA is conducting a strategic review of current and potential future NOAA energy-related activities, capabilities, and partnerships:

  • Solar Radiation

  • Offshore Wind

  • Land-based Wind

  • Hydropower

  • Hydrokinetic (wave, current, tidal)

  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

  • Biomass and Biofuel

  • Nuclear

  • Offshore/Coastal Oil & Gas

  • Liquefied Natural Gas

  • Methane Hydrates

  • Geothermal

  • Energy Transmission, Distribution and Storage

  • Carbon Capture and Storage

  • Review results will

    • Evaluate gaps, opportunities, responsibilities and risks

    • Propose recommendations for a comprehensive and coordinated NOAA strategy in support of energy issues that considers environmental stewardship

Strategic Energy ReviewStates and Regional Requirements

Proposed Future Activitiesin Support of Wind Energy (on and offshore)

  • Selected expansion of observation network of networks

    • Gather mission requirements to improve services and utilized technology including LIDAR, SODAR, buoys, and satellites

    • Partner with tower owners and academia to site sensors and collect data

  • Enhance weather forecasts and climate scenarios

    • Improve models and timely forecasts of speed, direction, shear, and turbulence, for surface winds, boundary layers and low level jets;

  • Increase data access and availability

    • Populate 4D database with essential layers for 20-200m height winds as needed by the renewable energy enterprise;

    • Promote data standards and exchange with community for improved physics, and enhanced models, forecasts, and verification.

  • Integrate environmental planning and management

    • Support offshore wind energy spatial planning with integrated wind, wave, tidal, ecological and other related forecasts

  • Infuse science & technology innovation

    • Advance ensemble modeling and make smart use of testbeds

Proposed Future Activitiesin Support of Solar Energy

  • Selected expansion of observation network of networks

    • Better exploit remote sensing of atmospheric constituents (clouds and aerosols) and ground-based measures of direct and total radiance

    • Work with partners to build a national solar network

  • Enhance weather forecasts and climate scenarios

    • Assimilate new data sets and types (optical/spectral, boundary effects,…)

    • Advance short-term forecasts for direct and diffuse radiation

    • Improve models and predictions of seasonal variations

  • Increase data access and availability

    • Leverage 4D data management, modeling, and mining

  • Infuse science & technology innovation

    • Leverage NOAA-partner testbed capabilities for radiance detection

    • Develop and implement enhanced cloud and atmospheric models

Proposed Future Activitiesin support of Spatial Planning



Winds and waves

on land & off shore

Lake wind and waves


Proposed Future Activitiesin Support of Smart Grid Development

  • Issue timely and consistent forecasts, probabilistic information, and scenarios

    • variability and co-variability, climate projections, ecological impacts …

    • near real-time data assimilation

  • Provide geospatial information over relevant scales

    • local, regional, transmission/distribution

    • variable terrain and off shore

  • Facilitate interoperability and integration

    • data, metadata, and model standards

  • Strengthen Infrastructure

    • computing and communications

Moving Forward

  • Develop a more comprehensive weather-energy capability:

    • Selected expansion of observation network-of-networks

      • Investment, integration, standards, quality control, infrastructure…

    • Enhance forecasts and weather scenarios

      • Improve models (boundary layer complexities, high impact wx…)

    • Promote 4D weather data information base

    • Infuse science and technology including probabilistic forecasts

  • Promote robust planning and engage partnership

    • Integrate of local observations, buoys, towers, and platforms of opportunity, and improve use of satellite for regional analysis

    • Apply model downscaling and technology to improve skill

  • Support Improvement

    • Research and development, and infusion to increase database and forecast reliability, scalability, and applicability

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