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Observed Recent Trends in the Solar Resource across North America: Changing Cloud-cover, AOD and the Implications for PV Yield

In years recent to 2020, low solar-resource in the Eastern U.S. was observed in the SolarAnywhere® dataset. This paper investigates 20-year trends in GHI and clear-sky GHI for every latitude/longitude pair in the continental United States. The paper also includes information about the changes in GHI attributable to changes in AOD over this time-period.

The analysis also provides a solar industry perspective by quantifying the trends in potential kWHAC/kWDC for PV across the same regions—trends influenced largely by GHI, but also by temperature. These trends are important to understanding bankability and performance assessment for solar energy applications, as well as future planning.

This paper was presented in 2020 at the virtual IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference.

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