Scorching summer in Europe, but what about solar irradiation?



Every month we take a look at the irradiation on the European and African continent with the help of our latest solar data tool: The Solar Index Maps. The Solar Index Map uses 3E’s Solar Data Services and generates detailed maps showing the percentage difference between the solar resource during the period of interest (in this case, the months of May, June and July 2018), compared with the long-term average solar resource during the same period since 2004.

May 2018 June 2018 July 2018
spe_europe_solar_index_2018-05 spe_europe_solar_index_2018-06 spe_europe_solar_index_2018-07

The last 3 months were very bright months for several Northern European countries with 15% to 30% more sunshine than the long-term average (P50). However, Southern European countries had much darker summer months with irradiation values lower than the P50.

A decrease in solar index also corresponds to a decrease of the solar parks production for the considered period with respect to the expected P50 values as calculated in the business models. Such variations over time must be correctly accounted for when assessing the long-term yield of PV assets. 3E’s uncertainty analysis, which is part of a standard P90 calculation, accounts for this concept through a detailed solar resource assessment.

The situation in Africa during the same months:

May 2018 June 2018 July 2018
spe_africa_solar_index_2018-05 spe_africa_solar_index_2018-06 spe_africa_solar_index_2018-07

Last summer months were very bright for some central African countries, particularly on the Gulf of Guinea. Countries like Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea had 15% to 20% more sunshine than the average (P50). However, other sub-Saharan countries like, among others, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Somalia, had darker summer months with irradiation values lower than the P50.