Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications

Designing, financing, and operating successful solar heating, concentrating solar power, and photovoltaic systems requires reliable information about the solar resource available and its variability over time. In the past, seasonal and daily variability has been studied and understood; however, with new solar technologies becoming more important in energy supply grids, small time-scale effects are critical to successful deployment of these important low carbon technologies. A vital part of the bankability of solar projects is to understand the variability of the solar resource so that supply and storage technologies can be optimized. This handbook is the result of 10 years of international collaboration carried out by experts from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC), Solar PACES, and Photovoltaic Power Systems Technology Collaboration Programmes. Under IEA SHC Task 46: Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting, experts from 11 countries produced information products and best practices on solar energy resources that will greatly benefit project developers and system operators as well as assist policymakers in advancing renewable energy programs worldwide.

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