EGU24-5571, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SHADECast: Enhancing solar energy integration through probabilistic regional forecasts

Alberto Carpentieri1,2, Doris Folini1, Jussi Leinonen3, and Angela Meyer2,4
Alberto Carpentieri et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Universitaetstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2School of Engineering and Computer Science, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Quellgasse 21, 2501 Biel, Switzerland
  • 3Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Via ai Monti 146, 6605 Locarno-Monti, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, TU Delft, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, Netherlands

Surface solar irradiance (SSI) is a pivotal component in addressing climate change. As an abundant and non-fossil energy source, it is harnessed through photovoltaic (PV) energy production. As the contribution of PV to total energy production grows, the stability of the power grid faces challenges due to the volatile nature of solar energy, predominantly influenced by stochastic cloud dynamics. To address this challenge, there is a need for accurate, uncertainty-aware, near real-time, and regional-scale SSI forecasts with forecast horizons ranging from minutes to a few hours.

Existing state-of-the-art SSI nowcasting methods only partially meet these requirements. In our study, we introduce SHADECast [1], a deep generative diffusion model designed for probabilistic nowcasting of cloudiness fields. SHADECast is uniquely structured, incorporating deterministic aspects of cloud evolution to guide the probabilistic ensemble forecast, relying only on previous satellite images. Our model showcases significant advancements in forecast quality, reliability, and accuracy across various weather scenarios.

Through comprehensive evaluations, SHADECast demonstrates superior performance, surpassing the state of the art by 15% in the continuous ranked probability score (CRPS) over diverse regions up to 512 km × 512 km, extending the state-of-the-art forecast horizon by 30 minutes. The conditioning of ensemble generation on deterministic forecasts further enhances reliability and performance by more than 7% on CRPS.

SHADECast forecasts equip grid operators and energy traders with essential insights for informed decision-making, thereby guaranteeing grid stability and facilitating the smooth integration of regionally distributed PV energy sources. Our research contributes to the advancement of sustainable energy practices and underscores the significance of accurate probabilistic nowcasting for effective solar power grid management.



[1] Carpentieri A. et al., 2023, Extending intraday solar forecast horizons with deep generative models. Preprint at ArXiv. 

How to cite: Carpentieri, A., Folini, D., Leinonen, J., and Meyer, A.: SHADECast: Enhancing solar energy integration through probabilistic regional forecasts, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5571,, 2024.