Australian Solar Energy Forecasting System (ASEFS) - Phase 1

This two-year project will deliver the first phase of an Australian Solar Energy Forecasting System (ASEFS) to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), manager of the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Lead organisation:
Project partners:
Australian Energy Market Operator, Bureau of Meteorology, University of NSW, University of South Australia, US National Renewable Energy Laboratory
US; Adelaide, SA; Sydney, NSW; Melbourne, VIC; Canberra, ACT
Hybrid and enabling technologies
ARENA programme:
Former Australian Solar Institute initiatives and programmes
Start date:
January 2013


Solar generating capacity in the National Electricity Market (NEM) is rapidly expanding and reaching a stage where proper forecasting will be needed to allow expansion to continue. Accurate supply and demand forecast models are necessary to increase commercial viability and ensure stability of the electricity grid.

Project innovation

This two-year project will address this need by delivering the first phase of an Australian Solar Energy Forecasting System (ASEFS) to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), manager of the NEM.

It will enable the enhanced integration of solar energy generation at all scales into the national grid, allowing operators of larger systems to participate in the market.

The system will be configured as an extension to the Australian Wind Energy Forecasting System (AWEFS), which has been successfully operating within AEMO market systems since 2008.

This first phase will provide an operational system that uses basic forecasting techniques to cover all the AEMO-required forecasting timeframes, which range from five minutes to two years. The system will cater for large-scale photovoltaic and solar-thermal plants as well as distributed small-scale photovoltaic systems.

It will also provide researcher access to allow for the development, by Australian institutions, of more advanced solar forecasting techniques for incorporation in the operational system. The project will be coordinated by CSIRO in conjunction with AEMO.

A number of research institutions will provide technical input and undertake research and development on enhancements to the system, including the Bureau of Meteorology, the University of NSW, the University of South Australia and the National Renewable Energy Laborator in the US.

The involvement of NREL will strengthen collaboration between the world’s leading Australian and US researchers in the solar forecasting area.


The project will produce the most advanced operational solar forecasting system available, and through its unique researcher access to data will provide a platform for knowledge sharing for researchers, investors, industry and governments.

More Information

Short-Term Solar Forecasting with a Sky-Camera

Contact information

Dr Peter A Coppin, Stream Leader, Energy Storage for Renewables, CSIRO Energy Flagship
+61 2 6246 5576