The Intelligent Energy Europe project, which won the 2012 Sustainable Energy Award in the Communicating category, aims to include indicators about the share of a country’s energy covered by renewable energy sources in actual weather forecasts.
This project has involved setting up an operational “renewable energy weather forecast” tool in France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Belgium that is being widely broadcasted (4 million people reached at least) on a weekly basis at first. Each weather forecast includes data on renewable energy output and energy demand, providing indicators about three technologies: solar PV, solar thermal and wind turbines.
“EnergizAIR is needed to add a cultural dimension to a subject that has been mainly addressed as a technical and environmental issue. Energy is part of every citizen’s life. Energy management and consumption are linked to our cultural background, our values, our ideas about all sorts of issues. Using the weather forecast as a dissemination tool for sustainable energy will make the difference in terms of approach, media and results,” the EnergizAIR website explains.
By bringing renewable energy into European living rooms, it is hoped that EnergizAIR will add a “qualitative, informative and positive take on renewable energy in the European citizens’ daily life”. This will help to build understanding and confidence in the renewable energy market, actively supporting the acceptance of the three 20% targets for 2020.
The website continues: “EnergizAIR will address a major need by filling the gap between two issues that are generally separately considered by people but are still deeply interlocked: energy consumption and renewable energy production. This will be done by communicating about energy needs covering by renewable energy. The less energy you need, the bigger covering you get with renewable energy!”
This kind of weather forecast is already being broadcast in 15 media in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia, and as Commissioner Günther Oettinger pointed out in Brussels on Wednesday, will enable Berliner families equipped with photovoltaic panels, for example, to find out that last week’s sun provided enough electricity to cover 111% of their needs. Meanwhile, all Germany’s wind farms generated enough electricity last week to power the equivalent of 12,850,000 households: one-third of the country.
Those behind EnergizAIR, which also involved establishing five supporting websites providing renewable energy weather forecasts and tools to link it with rational energy use, see the project as a “methodology to transfer the concept to other countries”.
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