Skymet pioneered the visualization of weather for print media in 2003. And even after 9 years, we remain the only player in this segment. Our newspaper weather graphics are referred to by almost 200 million people across all 28 states of India in three languages. They are adequately condensed with weather and climate information that allows people to plan accurately. Skymet provides weather infographics to The Hindustan Times, The Telegraph, The Hindu, Sakshi, Mint and Dainik Jagaran.
Skymet pioneered weather graphics for television in 2003. Since then we have produced a range of visuals for television ranging from simple plate driven graphics, to full-fledged weather shows on monsoon and fog. Our weather experts routinely feature in prime time television shows on weather and climate in India. Skymet has powered weather programming in Star News, NDTV, Aajtak, Delhi Aajtak, News Express, Sakshi TV and Zee Business during the last few years.
Skymet has set up a state-of-the-art television studio now and also acquired India's first weather broadcast suite. Skymet will soon take the next leap in catching India's imagination on weather, climate and agriculture. Skymet is about to produce 'must see' video graphics on extreme weather events like heavy rain in Mumbai, heat wave, arrival and withdrawal of the Monsoon, cold wave, etc.
We are also venturing into agriculture specific programming. Here, our communications strategy is two-fold. Address the consumer segment especially those watching regional networks and to create programming that supports agri-business.
Over the past few years, with help of clients, we have been working on customizing weather forecast information for farmers:
With a population of approximately 1.2 billion growing at 1.58% and a projected GDP growth rate of approximately 7% over the next decade the demand for food and water will rise. The government is already allocating massive resources to meet this challenge. But the problem is agriculture data such as crop acreage, yield, and health is very difficult to come by. Most of the trading decisions are based on gut as opposed to reliable statistics.
Skymet is using remote sensing technology to generate statistics for agricultural production.
Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) is a unique weather based insurance product designed to provide insurance protection against losses in crop yield resulting from adverse weather incidences. It provides payout against adverse rainfall incidence (both deficit and excess) during Kharif and adverse incidence in weather parameters like frost, heat, relative humidity, non-seasonal rains, etc. during Rabi season. WBCIS has been piloted in the country since Kharif 2003 season. Some of the states where the scheme has been piloted over the years are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Rajasthan is the only state to practice WBCIS throughout the state. There are 5 million farmers that are covered under the WBCIS. Some of the states where the scheme has been piloted over the years are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, U. P. and Rajasthan. Rajasthan is the only state to practice WBCIS throughout the state. There are 5 million farmers that are covered under the WBCIS.
Skymet is a proud participant in this business. We have established our own network of over 760 automatic weather stations spread across India. For the first time in India, these weather stations are streaming live data to crop insurance companies to hasten settlements.
Skymet plans to attain an all India presence in data collection in a couple of months.
Skymet also provides data mining support and remote sensing based data services to crop insurance companies that will help them create new products and settle yield based claims under Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
The relationship between weather and energy is linear during summer. In winter, the pattern is inverse. All weather parameters affect the comfort index and thus affect the electricity load consumption.
In the long term, seasonality starts playing a role. If pre-summer and the summer are strong in India, then temperatures shoot, demand for energy in cities increases. If monsoon gets delayed then, agricultural demand increases. Skymet has been working on this connect for a couple of years. Skymet has five clients in the energy business.
Skymet provides the electricity distributors temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction at every 15 minute intervals. This data then goes into a short term load forecasting system (STLF). On the basis of this calculation, the utility trades power.
The calculation of weather is the most important part of the puzzle.
India's total installed capacity is 11,807 MW. By 2012, another 6000 MW of wind capacity will be installed. In India, 1.6% of the total power is produced by wind. India ranks fifth in grid-connected wind power next to the US, China, Germany and Spain. But capacity utilization is only between 17 to 20%. According to the Indian Electricity Act Grid Code of 2010, merchant wind power producers with an installed capacity of 15 MW and above (as in those that do not have long term power purchase agreements) have to schedule power like any power producer and forecast their production. And the forecast error should not go beyond 30%. This regulation has kicked in since January 2012.
This market is developing. Right now there is no trading merchant in wind power. Skymet has done a research project for a major power trader where Skymet's ultrasonic anemometers (wind measurement sensors) were established at different heights across five locations in Tamil Nadu and generated a forecast for these points to see how good the accuracy was.
This experience is tremendous because it will help in bringing Tamil Nadu wind energy (70% of the total generation) to the market.
Skymet is currently conducting a research and development program with Tata Power Trading Company Limited (TPTCL) on wind power forecasting.
In order to assist the ever growing need for long term data for a variety of statistical and decision support applications, Skymet maintains and provides historical weather information for most Indian stations. The stations data includes mean daily maximum temperature, mean daily minimum temperature and total daily rainfall.
The historical stations data can be represented in customized formats like: