Authors: Kwa-Sur Tam and Rakesh Sehgal
Forecasting is a major tool to address the variable nature of renewable energy. The diversity involved in forecasting is quite complex when the diversity in data sources, data formats, forecasting approaches and types of applications are combined. Cloud Computing provides the enabling technology to handle the complexity of solar power forecasting and can enhance more widespread and effective utilization of solar energy. This paper introduces a cloud-based system called FaaS (Forecast-as-a-Service) for solar power forecasting. Two aspects of solar power forecasting that Cloud Computing can uniquely support are the automated collection/processing of data and on-demand delivery of user-specified services. The costs of cloud-based on-demand services are found to be much lower than the subscription fees charged by current renewable energy forecast vendors. Potential impact of Cloud Computing on solar energy utilization from a broad perspective is presented.
Keywords: cloud computing, solar power forecasting, operation, prospecting, services