Delft, The Netherlands-based Whiffle, a weather forecasting firm that offers services for weather forecasts, wind energy and solar power, announced on Thursday that it has raised €3M in a fresh round of funding.
The round saw participation from impact investors ENERGIIQ and SHIFT Invest.
Rafael Koene, fund manager at ENERGIIQ, says, “Whiffle’s technology can have a major impact on the energy transition by further reducing the overall costs of renewably generated energy.”
Revolutionising numerical weather prediction
Founded in 2015 by Harmen Jonker and Remco Verzijlbergh, Whiffle is a Delft University of Technology spin-off that claims to have developed ‘cutting-edge’ technology for highly accurate and localised weather forecasting.
The company runs the calculations of its weather model on graphic processing units (GPUs), allowing local turbulence and underlying processes and conditions in the atmosphere to be captured in detail. Optimised by artificial intelligence and machine learning, Whiffle claims that this is the world’s first operational weather model based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES).
Whiffle can thus provide its customers with fast and accurate weather forecasts that account for various factors such as the local effects of hills, buildings and wind turbines.
Whiffle CEO Harmen Jonker says, “We can use this investment to further grow the company and bring our weather model to market in a number of sectors. In recent years, we have been working hard to refine the technology and make it easy for customers to use. We are now seeing a significant increase in commercial interest. This investment will allow us to expand even faster and continue to improve our model in the coming years.”
Although the technology can help boost efficiency in many sectors, Whiffle’s technology is currently used by global market leaders in renewable energy to develop and operate wind and solar power plants. Additionally, its model is also being applied to air pollution forecasting, aviation and agriculture.
Janneke Bik, Partner at SHIFT Invest, says, “We are impressed with the team and the technology it has developed. As the growth of renewable resources will make the energy system more weather dependent, accurate simulations and forecasts are crucial to the energy transition. Whiffle, therefore, fits perfectly with our fund’s objective.”
Accelerating the energy transition
Whiffle’s weather model makes renewable energy production more predictable. The technology is valued by the energy sector because better forecasts reduce the costs of weather risks. More accurate weather forecasting lowers imbalance prices for energy companies, for example, which has a direct effect on their margins.
Besides, the model can also be used to optimise the configuration of wind farms and better predict future energy yields. This could result in higher yields and lower financing costs.