NewsImpact of Rare Atlantic Storm on European Solar Energy Production

Impact of Rare Atlantic Storm on European Solar Energy Production

In the latest weekly update provided by pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, has revealed that there was a significant drop in irradiance and PV production across most of Europe in February, falling more than 15% below normal levels. This decline was attributed to dense clouds brought in by moist westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean.

The analysis conducted using the Solcast API highlighted that these production deficits were a result of unusual weather patterns causing the clouds to move further east and deeper into Europe than usual for this time of year. Countries such as the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany experienced shortfalls ranging from 13% to 35%, with some areas in France and Poland witnessing irradiance levels dropping as much as 40% below normal.

The presence of thicker clouds was linked to multiple low-pressure systems near Iceland, Norway, and the UK, driving moisture-laden westerly winds across Europe, particularly north of the Alps. The high levels of precipitation during winter could have exacerbated the solar production shortfalls if snow had been present. However, above-average temperatures led to more rainfall than snow in February 2024.

Moving further south, regions like Portugal, Spain, Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans experienced more stable weather conditions, exhibiting irradiation levels close to normal and even exceeding 120% of normal irradiance in some areas. In contrast, Ireland and Scotland also saw increased irradiance levels, albeit still below 1.5 kWh per day due to shorter daylight hours.

Solcast utilizes advanced technology to monitor cloud cover and aerosols globally at a resolution of 1-2km through satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This data is crucial for accurate irradiance modeling with a minimal bias of less than 2% and cloud-tracking forecasts, benefiting over 300 companies managing 150GW of solar installations worldwide.

The opinions and perspectives shared in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily align with those of pv magazine. Remember that this content is copyrighted and should not be repurposed without permission. For collaborations or content reuse requests, reach out to editors@pv-magazine.com.

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