Energy Cluster Jan 2011 Agenda

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

ESIP Winter Meeting 2011 (Washington, DC)

Jan 4-6, 2011
Energy Cluster – Agenda

January 4, 2011 Tuesday Afternoon

2:00 – 3:30 PM Track 4 Climate and Energy Policy and User Requirements

3:30 – 4:00 PM Break

4:00 – 4:45 PM Track 4a Climate and Energy Policy and User Requirements (Cont'd)

  • User Needs, Technology Transfer and Cross-agency Data-sharing (Shekar Rao, TechComm)

4:45 – 5:30 PM Track 4b Energy and Air Quality Joint Session

  • Open Discussion for Future Activities

Notes from Session

January 5, 2011 Wednesday Afternoon

Track 4 Climate and Energy: Data, Models and Decision Support Solutions

1:45 – 3:15 PM

  • Climate Service support to the Energy and Water sectors – Scott Hausman, NOAA/NCDC
  • Assessing the utility of Earth observation measurements informing energy sector applications - Richard Eckman, NASA

3:15 – 3:45 PM Break

3:45 – 5:15 PM

Notes from Session

how to develop services that reach out from national through to the local level.

Activities since last meeting

  • NAPA Study completed by congress
  • Developed vision/framework document
  • Regional climate Services Directors Hired
  • DOI USDA DOE collaborations expanding

Vision for climate service

Provide science and services informing society to anticipate /respond to climate and its impacts

Near term objectives

  • Improve understanding
  • Integrated assessments
  • Inform mitigation and adaptation choices
  • Educate the public
    • consistent with NOA Goal of adaptation and mitigation

societal challenges focused on - rest left to private sector and other govt departments

focus: marine ecosystems, costal climate, climate impacts on water, extreme climate conditions

Building partnerships with

  • NASA
  • department of interior
  • USDA
  • Department of defense

Providing access to information

  • NOAA climare services portal (

Public Understanding

  • Summer institute on climate change June 15-July 1, 2011 in Ashville NC

observing and monitoring

  • US climate reference network - installed soil moisture/ temp sensors

observing and data stewardship

  • satelite climate record- Global Precipitation Measurement GPM / X-Cal
  • Global cloud climatology data extending back to 1978

(satellite calibration working group) Monitoring and modeling- NIDIS

  • US drought monitor produced weekly
  • climate prediction center
  • climate forecast system version 2

Decision support

  • climate normals- 30 years averaged over 8000 locations

education is not in mission statement-should be explicitly included in order to prevent it form being cut by budget restrictions

  • public outreach is included in overall structure though

Assessing Earth Obervation Measurements in Informing Energy Sector

Completed projects- context of conference theme: evaluating usefulness of earth science data
NASA applied sciences Program- goal: find non research applications / practical uses of data for decision makers

GEO- monitoring renewable energy sources/improving forecasting

  • CEOS-uses earth observation satellites to directly support near term goals of GEO

NASA POWER Project - prediction of worldwide energy resources
SSE -surface meteorology and solar energy database- 24 years of data publicly available

NASA data is global and accessible to everyone ex: through RETScreen
NREL HOMER micropower optimization model- world wide user base. computer program that simplified evaluation of nasa data like RETScreen

Tremendous solar storm (like in 1859) could knock out our modern power grid, communication system, and internet. earth observations could be used to improve forecasting ability and prepare for such an event

Initiative by Battelle to use NASA products to enhance energy utility load forecasting for both short and long term planning

Nasa data products DO have a useful role in renewable energy and energy utilities and other applications
partnerships with end users are esential to educate them and provide for their needs

Asssessing value of information depends on project under consideration
Possible next step- socio economic benefit survey

NOAA GFDL Cimate Modeling
Global to regional climate information

Horizontal and vertical grids that cover the surface of the earth.
Scientific challenges for gathering useful information

  • model verification against observations
  • time scales
  • quantification and resolution of uncertainties

Demands of computational resources

  • tradeoff of complexity vs resolution
  • depends on the needs of the project

increased resolution is very important for accuracy of predictive models

  • anomalies in hurricane models reduced by higher resolution increasing resolution from 2 degree to 1-1.5 degree
  • Coastal current modeling can be vastly imroved

resolution will not solve every problem, only effective to a point.

End of 2011 GFDL data will be available online in archive online
2013 data will go public

huge effort to get data into proper format
whole system not working yet

  • must rewrite entire IPCC data set so system can recognize it


  • early tests of network ongoing
  • data volume a big issue- dealing with cost infrastructure and software
    • too much data, hard for clients to get just a peice of it

Analysis and quantification of uncertainty for climate change decision aids: energy consumption in SW US

Climate decision aids (heating/cooling data)
Case studies using downscale of resolution for heat maxima from electrical and natural gas usage in southwestern military bases
Both showed unexpected outliers
showed that winter was having a later onset

Improving short-term forecasting for wind energy DOE NOAA Private Industry study

improve short range forcasts 0-6h of wind speed direction and turbulence at hights that effect turbines with the assumption that it can reduce cost of wind energy

fossil fuels and the economy
GDP growth correlates to oil production over the past 30 years
oil price spikes correlate with economic recessions

oil production has gone flat, no longer increasing
350 B$ a year for oil imports (9 million barrels a day)

China is increasing fossil fuel (especially coal) use exponentially

natural gas
conventional vs shale gas

wind energy is decreasing in cost already cheaper than natural gas in some areas
smart grid depends on accurate wind forecasts
NOAA data is mostly high in atmosphere not at turbine level

key to efficiency is to keep demand and generation closely balanced
recucing output from plants or shutting off plants
reducing plant production decreases effeciency higher %co2

savings from perfect forecasts would be in the billions if 20% of energy was based on wind

Problem with wind power is there is a max windspeed- after which turbine is forced to shut down. with forecasts, turbines could be shut on or off in advance to maximize energy capture and regulate traditional power plants to cover down time most effeciently

wind forecasting project

deploy federal( mostly NOAA) seonsors and measure for a year to create a model, then evaluate the model

test regions
upper midwest and texas

NOA hourly updated NWP models
current resolution - 13km grid over north america
future - high resolution rapid refresh model = 3km grid over the US

will compile detailed case studies of forecast failures