In a new weekly update pv magazine, the DNV company Solcast presents the solar radiation data it collected from Europe in May. Below-average Cloudiness meant above-normal radiation across much of the UK, France, Germany, the Baltics and Scandinavia, with anomalies of up to 30% and 40% above climate. Solar power resources in Northern Europe have performed better than expected in May.
Solcast data for the month shows that below-average cloud cover meant higher-than-normal radiation across much of the UK, France, Germany, the Baltics and Scandinavia, with anomalies of up to 30% and 40% above climate. Solar power resources in Northern Europe have performed better than expected in May.
The weather in southern Europe moves north
A positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) causes weather patterns to shift northward as the Arctic vortex contracts inward. A more typical May sees a high pressure area over Spain, France and Italy, causing stable and sunny conditions over southern Europe, with the front and low pressure bringing clouds and showers to northern Europe.
This May, the area of high pressure was much further north – across Scotland’s Norway and the Baltic – bringing more sunshine to the north, while more low pressure, storms and clouds may form over the Mediterranean.
High pressure brought moisture from the Atlantic to southern Europe and rained record amounts. Heavy rain combined with prolonged drought caused flooding in Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, the Balkans and Italy, where 13 people died in the floods.
The absolute values of daily irradiance obtained from European Solcast data in May give an unknown picture of the irradiance in northern Europe and the Baltic countries in a month higher than in southern Italy and Greece. This has led to higher-than-expected solar performance in Northern Europe, while Mediterranean rains and storms have dampened solar production.
Solcast produces these numbers through the radiative forcing forecast and weather API by tracking clouds and aerosols to within 1-2 km globally using satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This information is used to control the radiant power models, which makes it possible Solcast calculates irradiance with high resolution, with a typical error of less than 2%, and also cloud tracking predictions. This data is used by more than 300 companies that manage more than 150 GW of solar energy worldwide.