Enel and ESA choose Wegaw’s satellite based snow monitoring solution for feasibility study in Italian Hydropower Cluster

by Sep 1, 2022Case Studies, Company News, Europe, Featured, Italy, Projects, Thought Leadership

Following on from a number of stories over the past couple of months, we are very proud to share details of the Snow Water Equivalent feasibility study that we’re working on in cooperation with Enel and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Since the early concepts of quantitative and computational geography emerged in the 1960’s, the development and innovation of geospatial data for numerous commercial applications has increased exponentially. For more than 20 years now, the ESA has been working with representatives of the Earth Observation (EO) service industry as well as energy companies and utilities to explore how satellite data can be exploited for the greater good:

Davide Coppola, Head of Space Applications Initiatives, ESA Space Solutions, European Space Agency

“Our groundbreaking international projects and satellite missions foster progressive development in the pollution-free hydro power industry and we are very pleased to collaborate with Wegaw again to discover further enhancement opportunities that would benefit energy needs whilst closing the gap on fossil fuel dependencies.”

Today almost 70% of the entire world’s green energy is generated by hydropower plants resulting in 4,252 TWh of electricity in 2021, and through Wegaw’s geospatial data fusion with AI, Enel may gain a more accurate prediction of snow dynamics with which to support a scalable forecasting solution for a cluster of hydropower plants across northern Italy.

“Our team is very proud to work with Wegaw and ESA on hydro energy transition optimization and we are looking forward to seeing the results of our collaboration very soon.”

Marco Favarato, Head of Enel Innovability, Global Energy and Commodity Management

In order to effectively manage hydroelectric plants and plan the production or storage of water, it is necessary to understand numerous physical parameters, such as rain and snow precipitation, local geomorphology, seasonal snowpack compression and melting.

Wegaw’s proven solutions deliver highly accurate and near real-time datasets of Snow Water Equivalent and calibrated models in seasonal flow forecasts to correct prediction errors by 30% to 50%. Currently, more than 30 hydropower public and private stakeholders worldwide are utilizing Wegaw’s data driven insights to increase trading prices by up to 5%, whilst boosting production by up to 10%.

Other tangible benefits of Wegaw’s cost-effective SaaS comprise valuable insights that would help to reduce runoff errors and, consequently, further reduce the errors in water inflow predictions, in turn leading to greater sustainability opportunities and additional revenue generation per power plant each year.


“The energy industry is proactively exploring ways to balance energy price and generation volatility that is driven primarily by the uncertainty in renewable energy production. Through this collaborative project, we will be able to incorporate a broader range of physical characteristics into our calibration methods and make greater steps into the European Alpine Hydropower space.”

Of course, this feasibility study contributes towards the ongoing global energy transition and climate change mitigation efforts as the insights derived would support energy security, climate resilience and natural resource preservation. Specifically, the results of this work effectively would meet at least three of the Sustainable Development Goals (as set out by the United Nations), including (but not limited to):

Sustainable Development Goal - SDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy - United Nations

SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy) by enabling a better understanding of future water availability and potentially reducing errors by 30% to 50%.

Sustainable Development Goal - SDG 13 - Climate Action - United Nations

SDG 13 (Climate Action) by potentially optimizing energy production by up to 10% with the same assets.

Sustainable Development Goal - SDG 17 - Strengthening the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development - United Nations

SDG 17 (strengthening the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) by working together with leading industry stakeholders that are committed to the international efforts to reach decarbonization targets by 2040.

The pioneering Wegaw team is strategically positioned to enable a faster transition from fossil fuels and is proud to work with more than 18 renewable energy companies around the world who trust our data and utilize it to lead new innovative ways for climate sustainability and resilience in the industry.

To explore a new project with us and to find out whether our datasets and energy transition insights can enlighten your own asset efficiencies or trading capabilities, please select from the following options:

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