Demand forecasts are the second major application of SENN in the energy market. They enable major consumers to buy electricity at favorable terms or schedule operations so as to avoid periods of peak demand during which they may have to pay stiff fines. Energy suppliers can use regional forecasts to plan electricity purchases and power plant operations. For instance, Swiss network operator Swissgrid uses SENN to plan electricity purchases in such a way that transmission losses are taken into account as huge amounts of power flow from Germany or France to Italy. Because Swissgrid has to offset such losses, it purchases electricity on the spot market up to 36 hours in advance, for about €48 million per year.
Swissgrid used to estimate demand on the basis of calendar and weather data and information supplied by network operators in neighboring countries. But SENN has reduced the forecasting error from 11 to 10 percent, enabling Swissgrid to save hundreds of thousands of francs per year.
SENN generates very accurate demand forecasts with an error rate of only three percent. On this basis, it can directly predict transmission losses. To do this, it monitors the hourly development of demand in the region to which the electricity is to be transmitted. It also examines current power flows, the amount of energy being generated from renewable sources, weather forecasts, and the water levels in pumped-storage electrical power stations.