ECN has developed such a forecasting tool, which uses data from the Dutch meteorological office supplemented by more localised weather data. The program, AVDE, is being tested on a solitary wind turbine in Friesland and a 3.5 MW wind farm south of Dordrecht. This provides a 48-hour forecast that is updated every 15 minutes. Greater accuracy is impossible, says Brand, because general wind speed forecasts -- which are given at ten metres height -- have a standard deviation of 2-3 m/s at the hub height of a wind turbine.
Under the Dutch system, market players pay a penalty for any imbalance introduced into the national grid and a so-called "program responsibility" charge is built into the tariff structure of Dutch wind, which covers the cost of this imbalance and is currently charged at i0.06/MWh. Improved forecasts would reduce this penalty but it will remain significant unless other techniques such as regulated feed-in and power storage are used, concludes the report. The Netherlands' 862 MW installed wind capacity currently covers 1.8% of the country's electricity requirements.