16Solar Resource for High Penetration and Large Scale Applications

Task Managers

As the penetration of PV increases, 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 region or country.


International collaboration and consensus on developing and managing these data sets will expedite the high penetration of solar technologies, and improve markets for these technologies. Large scale PV plants now need accurate resource and forecast data due to high investment costs. Therefore Task participants will focus on the following two scientific issues:

  • High frequency variability and solar forecasts for managing grids with high penetration of PV and local storage
  • 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 a focus of this task.


The main goals of Task 16 are to lower barriers and costs of grid integration of PV and lowering planning and investment costs for PV by enhancing the quality of the forecasts and the resources assessments. To reach this main goal the Task has the following objectives:

  • Lowering uncertainty of satellite retrievals and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models for solar resource assessments and nowcasting.
  • Define best practices for data fusion of ground, satellite and NWP data (re-analysis) to produce improved datasets, e.g. time series or Typical Meteorological Year (TMY)
  • Develop enhanced analysis of long-term inter-annual variability and trends in the solar resource.
  • Develop and compare methods for
    • Estimating the spectral and angular distributions of solar radiation (clear and all-sky conditions)
    • Describing the spatial and temporal variabilities of the solar resource
    • Modelling point to area forecasts
    • Probabilistic and variability forecasting
  • Contribute to or setup international benchmark for data sets and for forecast evaluation.

As the scope of Task 16 is also directly linked to Concentrating Solar Power and solar thermal installations the collaboration with the two TCPs dealing with these topics is of great importance. IEA PVPS Task 16 will be a joint Task with IEA SolarPACES and will keep minimal collaboration with IEA SHC.


The work programme of the proposed Task 16 addresses on one side scientific meteorological and climatological issues to high penetration and large scale PV in electricity networks, but also includes a strong focus on user needs and for the first time a special dissemination subTask. Dissemination and user interaction are foreseen in many different ways from workshops and webinars to paper and reports.

The project requires the involvement of key players in solar resource assessment and forecasting at the scientific level (universities and research institutions) and commercial level (companies). A consortium of 53 institutions of 21 countries has been formed. This includes large science centres like DLR, NREL or Fraunhofer, universities like State Univ. of New York, Mines ParisTech or Univ. of Jaen, national weather services like DWD, BOM or DMI and data providers like Solargis, Vaisala or Meteotest.

Task 16's current phase began in 2020, ends in 2023 and activities are organized as follows

1Subtask 1 : Evaluation of current and emerging resource assessment methodologies

  • Ground based methods
  • Models for Numerical Weather  Predictuion and satellite based data
  • Benchmarking framework and high quality data archive

2Subtask 2 : Enhanced data & bankable products

  • Data quality & format
  • Merging of satellite, weather model and ground data
  • Spatio-temporal high variability
  • Long-term inter-annual variability
  • Products for the end-users
  • Solar Energy at urban scales
  • Data and models for bifacial modules

3Subtask 3 : Evaluation of current and emerging solar resources and forecasting techniques

  • Value of solar power forecasts
  • Regional solar power forecasting
  • Probabilistic solar forecasting
  • Forecasts based on all sky imagers
  • Firm power generation

4Subtask 4 : Dissemination and Outreach

  • Produce a Periodic task newsletter
  • Conduct webinars, workshops and/or conference presentations
  • Update of solar resource handbook
  • Interactive guide to solar data processing

Task 16 Reports