Satellite-based solar radiation nowcasting for the energy transition and UV warnings

Solar radiation impacts society in various ways. Two important examples are the harvesting of solar radiation, which plays a major role in the energy transition, and the exposure of human skins to ultraviolet radiation, which constitutes a threat to public health. Accurate, detailed and timely forecasts of solar radiation are required to inform society on these matters. In this project, building on an award-winning pilot study, we want to create an operational solar radiation nowcasting system based on observations made by the geostationary Meteosat satellite. Improvements in terms of spatio-temporal resolution and spectral information content will be investigated and implemented. New opportunities to move from deterministic to probabilistic forecasts and to add estimates of high-frequency variability will be explored.

This project is funded through the KNMI Meerjarig Strategisch Onderzoek (MSO) program and runs from mid 2021 to mid 2024.

SDS animation
Animation of satellite observations of surface solar irradiance (top panel) and corresponding forecasts (bottom panel) for an area encompassing the Netherlands on 16 June 2016. The forecasts range from 10 to 12 UTC.