Solar data, software and expertise provider—Solargis—today published its 2022 Global Solar Performance. By combining recent satellite solar irradiance (Global Horizontal Irradiation) and air temperature readings with nearly three decades of historical data, this study provides an insightful look at how current weather trends may be impacting the effectiveness of solar projects compared to expectations.
The study shows that unusual deviations in long-term average temperature and solar irradiance levels, as well as unseasonal extreme weather events, have emphasized the need for meteorological analysis that takes both short-term fluctuations and long-term averages into account when making investment decisions.
Some of the key regional findings include:
Despite the high Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) observed in North America in 2022, recent extreme weather events, including prolonged heatwaves and cold conditions, have highlighted some underlying grid issues. Developers and solar portfolio operators are encouraged by the Inflation Reduction Act to invest in forecasting data of shorter duration with greater accuracy. By doing so, they will be able to better comprehend how such events influence their operations while integrating storage infrastructure into their plans effectively.
Solar resources in many European markets increased 10% above the yearly long-term average, providing a promising glimmer of hope amidst the region's energy crisis. However, extreme heatwaves, dramatic shifts in temperature and disruption of weather patterns quickly stirred up grid instability that was further magnified by significantly below-par GHI recorded in Spain during the spring of 2022, contributing to energy pricing and security challenges.
In light of these findings, Solargis has identified a number of industry challenges that will drive investment in high-resolution, accurate solar resource data in 2023.
—explained Marcel Suri, CEO of Solargis.
"The need for high resolution data will become even more acute as solar expands into remote, untapped regions, as we seek to integrate complex hybrid solar + storage systems, and as the market deals with regulatory changes and price volatility in the context of the global energy crisis," added Suri.