As part of our ongoing hydrology project, EQ now provides energy precipitation forecasts, seasonal norms and historical data for countries in South-East Europe, covering around 50 TWh of annual hydropower production – or nearly 30% of total power supply in the region.
The SEE-region includes Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Greece. EQ already covers hydrology in the Nordic markets, with the rest of Europe set to follow.
Why is this important
Hydropower production is by far the most volatile production factor in the SEE region and may vary ± 10 TWh or ± 20 percent annually. Needless to say, power price formation in both the spot and forward markets are strongly influenced by the hydrological situation. Note that the run-of-river plants dominate the hydropower system in the region.
What is precipitation energy?
The term “energy precipitation” signifies the energy content of the precipitation available for the hydropower system, typically in a country or a price area. In our models, each country is represented by several precipitation locations, which are carefully selected through optimisation models to match the historical energy inflow of the different national hydropower systems for 20 hydrological years.
A new approach
The new precipitation energy model provided by EQ explicitly takes into account the evaporation associated with each rainfall. Our studies clearly indicate that the this yields a more precise description of the relevant energy content than the conventional modeling method, where evaporation is not included. It is EQ’s innovative handling of the relevant forecasts that has made the inclusion of evaporation possible. Let us demonstrate this.
Our new models clearly demonstrate how monthly precipitation profiles vary within the SEE-area. Along the Adriatic coast and further south towards Greece, we see much lower precipitation levels during summertime than what we find in the central parts as Serbia and Romania along the Danube. This has a significant impact on the inflow and hence production levels and profiles throughout the year.
As we move on with our hydrology project and launch more forecasting models, we will uncover how seasonality and geography interact with other aspects of the hydropower system, e.g. snowpack levels.