Last Updated: April 11, 2022
New Delhi: In what could have significant ramifications for productivity and returns from solar power projects in India, the latest study has found solar irradiance over the country over the past ten years was 7 per cent below long-term average.
The study by Solargis, a data and software firm for solar investments, highlights the struggles that solar asset owners face with the impacts of extreme weather and long-term irradiance variability – levels that deviated from the long-term averages are often used to underpin production estimates and financial models.
“Solargis’ irradiance maps indicate up to seven percent below average solar irradiation for the (Indian) sub-continent over the last four years – reflecting the concerns of local asset managers about a decline in irradiance levels,” the Slovakia based firm said in a statement.
It added that for India the irradiance variability is particularly notable around highly developed areas where aerosols and cloud cover can impact resource availability.
“If this data is not considered by developers, it could result in solar farms underperforming, with wider implications for investor confidence in one of the world’s fastest growing solar markets,” the firm said.
The study is a ten-year analysis of solar irradiance — over the 2012 to 2021 period — released today by Solargis and has illustrated the impacts of significant resource variability on several key global solar markets including India, Australia and North America.
“We are seeing margins tighten on global solar projects, due to multiple factors like the phase out of tax credits and subsidies, price volatility and rising supply chain costs. High-quality solar data will help to better understand and address deviations from expected production, forecast short-term performance and ultimately support effective integration into modern digitalised grids,” says Solargis CEO Marcel Suri.
Significant variation both above and below the long-term averages has been witnessed across North America, India and Australia, highlighting the variability challenge presented by solar, a promising yet intermittent renewable energy source.