In the past, load was forecasted using a limited set of available historical data. The growing prevalence of distributed energy resources (DERs) is increasing the need for data collection and forecasting that accounts for substation-, feeder- or customer-level forecasting.

Smart meters, grid sensors, and other intelligent devices are providing the necessary real-time data, which can be used to create and utilize these short-term, granular and higher-frequency forecasts.

In its latest report, Predictive Analytics for Utility Load and DER Forecasting 2016: Technologies, Applications and Competitive Analysis, GTM Research breaks down short-term DER and load forecasting solutions adopted by distribution and retail utility providers.

The new report focuses on software solutions providing real-time and near-real-time solutions to leverage this big data for both customer and grid analytics use cases.

FIGURE: The Evolution of the Drivers of Load Forecasting

Source: Predictive Analytics for Utility Load and DER Forecasting 2016

“For distribution utilities, DER adoption is increasing the need for grid-edge applications that can improve the forecasting and management of a more distributed and variable distribution grid,” said Aakriti Gupta, grid edge analyst and author of the report.

“Investments in network management and distributed automation improve a utility’s visibility and control of the grid to help integrate renewables, but additional data and analytic support is necessary to fully leverage investments as the grid becomes more dependent on DERs.”

FIGURE: Predictive Analytics and Load Forecasting Vendor Landscape 

Source: Predictive Analytics for Utility Load and DER Forecasting 2016

According to the report, as clear business cases develop, utilities will also look toward these solutions to deploy applications such as demand-charge management, theft detection, enhanced market interaction, billing alerts and load disaggregation.

“As DERs proliferate, forecasting solutions will become increasingly important to ensure system reliability, resource dispatch, customer loyalty, and the integration of DERs into both the grid and financial markets,” said Gupta.


This new report gives an in-depth view of load forecasting for the DER market, including market drivers, technologies, applications, competitive positioning and analysis, and product differentiation. Click here to learn more.