Spatial and Temporal Variability of Solar Energy

This paper summarizes and analyzes recent research by the authors and others to understand, characterize, and model solar resource variability. This research shows that understanding solar energy variability requires a definition of the temporal and spatial context for which variability is assessed; and describes a predictable, quantifiable variability-smoothing space-time continuum from a single point to thousands of kilometers and from seconds to days. Implications for solar penetration on the power grid and variability mitigation strategies are discussed.