Moving from Aviation Meteorology to Energy Meteorology

It was a decision taken many years back, to not only challenge myself but also to discover another side of being a weather forecaster. These two fields are so different and yet so similar at the same time. The biggest common spot between the two is the fact that you look at the same maps, so you need the same background. However, here is the biggest difference: the way you present the information is totally different.

Sometimes the meteorological data you brief in the aviation world to the pilots is so very important because it could save lives and at times is easier to analyze, focusing on smaller grid data with the only focal point being the airport. There are sometimes downsides to the excitement of being an aviation meteorologist - if the weather is ‘’nice’’ (like a high-pressure system with sky clears and no winds) – this can be somewhat of a lull. While in energy forecasting, everyday is different and it always represents a challenge!

Energy forecasting requires in-depth experience. I feel privileged to work in this field, since there aren’t many energy meteorologists across the globe as it is a relatively new field.

You need to analyze and compare models 24 hours a day, comparing satellite images against observations. It is an extremely demanding job when you are covering so many countries, with many different areas, ultimately comparing all the models. We also compare the power curves that shape the output and try to readjust this information drawing on your background and experience as a meteorologist.  

To compare with aviation - once a plane has taken off or landed, the role is to sit and observe. Meanwhile working within energy trading, you are consistently questioned and challenged every couple of minutes. This could be a question about the direction solar is taking or what changes will occur in wind production. Your role is to have the feedback of your forecast immediately.

In summary, energy meteorology is a pretty new field within the world of weather, and is an extremely interesting area to be involved in, when you consider the world is increasing in renewables, with changes constantly occurring, be it the shape of turbines, the size and dimensions of parks, or the ever-increasing production of battery plants. I am fortunate enough to be part of this small community which demands constant responsibility and high expectations!

Andrei-Traian Steau


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