Home » SolarPACES Tasks » TASK V: Solar Resource for High Penetration and Large Scale Applications

TASK V: Solar Resource for High Penetration and Large Scale Applications

Task Representative:

Dr. Manuel Silva, University of Seville, Spain

Nature of Work and Objectives

“Solar Resource for High Penetration and Large Scale Applications” is a joint IEA Task under the IEA PVPS (Photovoltaic Power Systems) Implementing Agreement in collaboration with SolarPACES. The Task is a follow-up of IEA SHC Task 46 (Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting) and the earlier SHC-Task-36 (“Solar Resource Knowledge Management”). In PVPS, Task is counted as Task 16, while in SolarPACES it retains the pre-existing number (Task V). The Task title change reflects the changing priorities.
As the penetration of solar energy systems increase, improved accuracy and finer spatial and temporal resolution of solar data sets are needed to optimize the performance of these technologies in the energy system of a particular region or country.
The task focusses on the following two scientific issues:

  1. High frequency variability and solar forecasts for managing grids with high penetration of PV and local storage.
  2. High quality solar resource assessments and forecasts for solar installations notably in the multi MW class.

High frequency variability and high quality needs are also important issues for the planning and the operation of Concentrating Solar Thermal facilities and CPV, which will be a focus of the Task as well. In addition, the development of bankable data sets for system sizing and accurate continuous data sets for performance evaluation are important to Solar Heating and Cooling technologies and will also be included in this Task.The target audience of the current IEA PVPS Task 16 includes developers, planners, investors, banks, builders, direct marketers and maintenance companies of PV, solar thermal and concentrating solar power installation and operation. The Task also targets universities, which are involved in the education of solar specialists and the solar research community. In addition utilities, distribution (DSO) and transmission system operators (TSO) are substantial user groups.

Scope and Organization

The scope of the work in Task 16 concentrates on meteorological and climatological topics needed to plan and run PV, solar thermal, concentrating solar power stations and buildings. As in the preceding IEA SHC task, solar resource assessment and forecasting are the main focus. However the work of the current Task is more focused on user viewpoints and on topics, which can only be handled through international cooperation, aside from the international exchange of knowledge which is a major objective of such a Task.The Joint Task counts with the participation of 47 institutions from the ambits of science (labs and universities), industry and meteorological services from 16 countries plus the European Union.


The work programme is organized into three main technical subtasks (subtasks 1 – 3) and one dissemination subtask (subtask 4), each including several activities:

  • Subtask 1: Evaluation of current and emerging resource assessment methodologies:
    • Ground based methods
    • Numerical weather models (NWP)
    • Satellite-based methods
    • Benchmarking framework
  • Subtask 2: Enhanced data & bankable products
    • Data quality & format
    • Merging of satellite, NWP and ground data
    • Spatio-temporal high variability
    • Long-term inter-annual variability
    • Products for the end-users
  • Subtask 3: Evaluation of current and emerging solar forecasting techniques
    • Value of solar power forecasts
    • Regional solar power forecasting
    • Variability forecasting and probabilistic forecasting
  • Subtask 4: Dissemination and Outreach
    • Develop a Task Brochure
    • Create a 6-month Task Newsletter
    • Conduct periodic (annual) Subtask-level webinars and/or conference presentations
    • Update of the solar resource handbook (current version available from NREL)
Documents and Reports

The following documents and reports are directly linked to the activities of Task V:

SunUP is the short name for the SolarPACES-funded project “Solar Radiation Products for End-Users”. The project has been developed by a group of experts from different organizations and is closely related to Activity 2.5 (Solar Radiation Products for Ens Users) of the IEA Joint Task PVPS Task 16 / SolarPACES Task V, although the SunUP project is specifically focused on Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) applications, while Activity 2.5 covers also aplications to PV projects.

The objective of the project is to organize the solar radiation products according to different uses and to define minimal requirements for each of them.
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