SUNPOINT will make the Norwegian solar industry better equipped at seizing the growth opportunities present in the Norwegian solar energy market. By developing better data, tools, and analyses for evaluating the Norwegian solar resource, the project will facilitate more accurate and accessible energy assessments for solar power in Norway, both for individual installations and for higher level estimates aimed at policy makers. These targets are achieved through three complementary subtasks.
1) Irradiance - MET Norway will exploit their broad competence on numerical weather predictions (the models weather forecast are based on) to produce better solar irradiance values for Norway. Accurate irradiance data will be generated by developing numerical weather predictions which are tailored to irradiance calculations. The calculations will be improved by using ground observations, satellite data and cloud camera images.
2) Energy assessments - Better irradiance values is important for energy estimates, but is only part of the picture. Translating irradiance to energy depends on a range of different algorithms and considerations. IFE will identify and evaluate the relevant methods for translation, and give a regionally resolved recommendation for estimating the energy production of a solar power plant.
3) Integration - Using the accurate energy assessments, IFE will evaluate the technical potential of Norwegian solar energy. The technical potential is subsequently exploited to investigate how the resource can be utilized in a sustainable socio-economic fashion, with regards to installation (which building types should be exploited? at which tilt should the panels be installed? what is the optimal installation direction?), flexibility needs, and influence on other energy sources.
Through this holistic approach, the project will provide decision support for stakeholders throughout the solar industry from developers to politicians.
Photovoltaics (PV) is rapidly taking a larger share of the Norwegian electricity generation mix and is expected to become a substantial part of the Norwegian energy mix. In the project SUNPOINT, Institutt for Energiteknikk and Meterologisk Institutt have joined forces in order to expand the knowledge about the solar resource in Norway, specifically the potential for PV generation. SUNPOINT will produce state of the art solar resource database combining novel numerical weather prediction models with data from satellite images and all available weather stations in Norway. In the process, we will also identify the inaccuracies of existing databases, and develop improved algorithms for translating weather data to electricity generation to provide more reliable values for the potential of PV electricity generation in Norway. The enhanced insight on the potential of PV generation in Norway will subsequently enable profound analysis on how to cost-efficiently integrate this resource into the Norwegian energy system. An important result from the project will be an knowledge based recommendation standards for PV system planning. The project aims to provide new knowledge on the potential for PV power generation relevant for the Norwegian solar industry, policy makers and the Norwegian energy sector. Hence, all are involved as stakeholders (NVE, EnergiNorge, Norconsult, Solcellespesialisten and Solenergiklyngen).