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Harnessing the power of forecasts

You will be familiar with checking the weather forecast before planning a day out. Now you can check the forecast to find out the greenest time to put your washing machine on.

Using Met Office data, the National Grid, in cooperation with the Environmental Defence Fund Europe (EDF) and WWF, has launched a forecast enabling the public and businesses to better understand and plan their energy use.

Using weather data from the Met Office and combining it with data from the grid, National Grid can forecast demand for electricity and identify the renewable energy flowing into the grid. Using this information, they can forecast the carbon output of the grid over a 48-hour period, and identify the periods of lowest carbon output and highest carbon output. In other words, how green the grid will be during that period.

Partners involved in the project hope consumers will be able to plan their electricity use around periods of high availability of renewable energy, reducing carbon output.

Patrick Sachon, Met Office Business Group Leader for Energy said: “The green energy forecast is a great example of innovative re-use of Met Office data. As a scientific organisation we encourage the re-use of our data, particularly if it can be applied to develop a deeper understanding of the interrelation between weather and something that is so integral to our everyday lives such energy.”