EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

8.1 Learning Outcomes


By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • describe the role of risk and uncertainty in delivering solar resource units to the grid;
  • describe the time-space relationship in meteorological assessment;
  • list the current limitations of solar resource forecasting in time and space scales;
  • list the relevant meteorological metrics for common SECS technologies.

What is due for Lesson 8?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found within this lesson.

Lesson 8 Assignments
Required Reading:

J.R. Brownson, Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS), Chapters 5, 8, and 9 (sections related to Risk, Time-Space, and Meteorology)

W. Short et al. (1995) Manual for the Economic Evaluation of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies. NREL Technical Report TP-462-5173. (read pp. 27-34: Uncertainty and Risk)

Coimbra, C.F.M., Kleissl, J., and Marquez R., Chapter 8: "Overview of Solar-Forecasting Methods and a Metric for Accuracy Evaluation, in Solar Energy Forecasting and Resource Assessment. "J. Kleissl (ed), 2013. Elsevier Science, Academic Press.  pp. 171- 194.

A. Dobos, P. Gilman, M. Kasberg (2012) "P50/P90 Analysis for Solar Energy Systems Using the System Advisor Model". Presented at the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum Denver, Colorado May 13-17, 2012.

Rhino Energy webpage: "Exceedance Probabilities". Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.

Alexandra von Meier (2011) "Integration of Renewable Generation in California: Coordination Challenges in Time and Space" (white paper for California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE)).

Optional Reading (not required): J. Rayl, G. S. Young, and J. R. S. Brownson. Irradiance co-spectrum analysis: Tools for decision support and technological planning. Solar Energy, 2013. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2013.02.029.

A. C. McMahan, C. N. Grover, and F. E. Vignola. "Evaluation of Resource Risk in Solar-Project Financing", Kleissl, J. ed. Ch 4 in: Solar Energy Forecasting and Resource Assessment (2013) Academic Press.

F. E. Vignola, A. C. McMahan, and C. N. Grover. "Bankable Solar-Radiation Datasets", Kleissl, J. ed. Ch 5 in: Solar Energy Forecasting and Resource Assessment (2013) Academic Press.
To Do:

Discussion 1: Space and time relationships

Discussion 2: Solar Forecasting

Engage in all Try-This and Self-check activities (not graded).

Topic(s): Time Horizons


Load Forecasting

Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)

Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF)


If you have any questions, please post them to the Lesson 8 General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum. I will check the forum regularly to respond. While you are in a discussion, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.