Very Short-term Nonparametric Probabilistic Forecasting of Renewable Energy Generation - with Application to Solar Energy

Faranak Golestaneh, Pierre Pinson, Hoay Beng Gooi

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Due to the inherent uncertainty involved in renewable energy forecasting, uncertainty quantification is a key input to maintain acceptable levels of reliability and profitability in power system operation. A proposal is formulated and evaluated here for the case of solar power generation, when only power and meteorological measurements are available, without skyimaging and information about cloud passages. Our empirical investigation reveals that the distribution of forecast errors do not follow any of the common parametric densities. This therefore motivates the proposal of a nonparametric approach to generate very short-term predictive densities, i.e., for lead times between a few minutes to one hour ahead, with fast frequency updates. We rely on an Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) as a fast regression model, trained in varied ways to obtain both point and quantile forecasts of solar power generation. Four probabilistic methods are implemented as benchmarks. Rival approaches are evaluated based on a number of test cases for two solar power generation sites in different climatic regions, allowing us to show that our approach results in generation of skilful and reliable probabilistic forecasts in a computationally efficient manner.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)3850-3863
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Solar power
  • Forecasting
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • Quantile regression
  • Extreme Machine Learning

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