EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

8.0 Overview



We encounter two really big factors that create a spread of possible outcomes for energy systems when we look into the future: weather, and people demanding energy. In Lesson 8, we will advance our knowledge regarding the role of weather and the electric power grid. We will cover a general idea of risk and uncertainty. Then, we will show again that time and space are related using Taylor's Hypothesis. More important, we will describe how events in the future can be predicted (to certain degrees of confidence) from historical knowledge and from knowledge of present events that are connected spatially to the locale of interest. In particular, we are interested in tools used by meteorologists.

Both weather systems and demand on the grid (called loads) will be presented as dynamic, coupled parameters. Both weather and grid loads will deeply affect our clients in terms of the required decisions for solar technology deployment and management. Both will be shown to have a spread of possible outcomes for a given time horizon; and thus, there will be uncertainty and risk in making decisions.

Now, the point of Lesson 8 is to familiarize yourself with modern elements of time horizons that affect project risk assessment and management due to the dynamic behaviors of the grid and of the local weather systems. We are not going to give you the full chops of a meteorologist, no more than in the last lesson were we going to turn you into a financial analyst. The whole point of transdisciplinary research and practice is for experts from different disciplines to work jointly as a team around a shared goal (e.g., the goal of solar design) to address a common challenge. However, it is hard to work jointly on a team when you don't know the language of your team members. So, onward!