Solargis Issues Warning on Winter Solar Performance in India

By Editor


Solargis, a provider of solar data and software solutions, has sounded the alarm about the adverse impact of poor air quality on India’s solar power industry during the Winter season.

Recent data released by Solargis indicates that Northern India witnessed the worst air quality in decades in January 2024, with some regions grappling with persistent fog or smog lasting up to 20 days.

Solargis’ Winter Solar Performance maps illustrate the stark reality, revealing a direct correlation between high aerosol levels and decreased solar project performance in the region. January 2024 saw a substantial drop in Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) – between 30 percent and 50 percent compared to long-term averages.

This decline in solar irradiance continues a troubling trend observed over the past five Winters in Northern India, resulting in significant underperformance of solar projects.

Avik Mitra, Business Account Manager at Solargis, highlighted the financial repercussions of this trend, stating, “January 2024 saw records broken for both the lowest average monthly temperature and lowest GHI. This had tangible impacts on the financial performance of solar projects across Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, which collectively host around 5GW of installed capacity.”

Moreover, operators in central India have been grappling with below-average irradiance for the past six years, compounded by factors such as the prolonged monsoon season. To address these resource-related challenges, Solargis is collaborating with leading solar PV firms in India, including candi solar, to provide reliable irradiance data for optimizing project performance.

Chris Brosz, Head of Engineering at candi solar, emphasized the importance of accurate yield information in identifying and mitigating underperformance issues: “Relying on robust and high-quality data has enabled us to optimize our project performance and build a scalable platform.”

Avik Mitra stressed the need for Indian operators to adopt higher-resolution data for more reliable performance evaluation, particularly in extreme weather conditions like severe fog and smog.

Furthermore, as the Indian market transitions towards hybrid tenders encompassing battery energy storage and wind energy, developers are increasingly investing in better understanding long-term irradiance trends to manage financial risks effectively. This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of solar variability at intra-day and seasonal levels to ensure optimal project outcomes.

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