New maps provide updated information about distribution of solar resource in South Africa and reveal sites with highest potential for solar project development
Bratislava (February 9, 2012) - GeoModel Solar, a leading international provider of solar resource data, online site assessment tools, and expert consultancy, today released a new set of solar maps for South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The abundant global and direct solar radiation is now mapped in the best possible quality, which will support the development of photovoltaic and concentrated solar energy in the country.
"Uniqueness of these maps is reflected in their very high spatial resolution of 250 metres. As regards temporal resolution, the underlying solar database represents more than 18 years of historical data (1994 - to present) with a time step of up to 15 minutes", said Marcel Suri, Managing Director of GeoModel Solar.
"The solar radiation received in some regions can vary by up to 20% within a distance of 10 kilometres. Hence, it is very important to have access to data with high accuracy and spatial resolution, making it possible to predict a solar plant's output with greater confidence" he added.
High reliability of maps was achieved thanks to the use of data from SolarGIS®, the most accurate solar resource database available for Southern Africa. SolarGIS®, developed by GeoModel Solar, has been extensively validated by a number of local ground measurements in partnership with Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University. "These maps are a very useful source of solar resource information. Utilization of such information can have a significant impact on profitability and efficiency of projects", said Prof. Wikus van Niekerk, Director of the Centre.
The maps and data can be accessed through the SolarGIS web-based platform: http://solargis.info
The SolarGIS platform also provides access to the online site assessment tools: iMaps and pvPlanner. iMaps, a state-of-the-art interactive mapping tool, enables identification of the best locations for solar energy projects. Once a site is selected, photovoltaic electricity yield can be interactively estimated with the help of pvPlanner.
ABOUT GEOMODEL SOLAR
GeoModel Solar supports planning, financing, and operation of photovoltaic, concentrated photovoltaic and concentrated solar power energy systems. The company has executed prefeasibility study for the Upington solar park and for more than 20 other projects in South Africa. For more information, visit http://geomodelsolar.eu