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 month of March 2018), compared with the long-term average solar resource since 2004.
After a dark month of February 2018 for almost all Africa, March 2018 was a better month in terms of solar irradiation but still darker than average for some countries across the continent including northern Morocco and Algeria and some sub-Saharan countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with 15% and up to 20% less sunshine than the average (P50) March.
The previous month of February 2018 was much darker than the average month for larger regions, including the Sahara desert and particularly for countries like Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe which had a very dark month compared with the average (P50) February.
How did this impacted the production of solar plants across Africa?
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 model. 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.
In comparison, Africa during the month of March 2017: