Tuesday, 31 January 2017
This study first contributes to the debate by estimating the output of a model UK fleet of solar farms rated at 8.4GW, by using ten years of half-hourly aviation weather reports as a data source. The key findings for such a solar fleet are that: - It has a capacity factor of just 9% when the panels are new, and so generates less than a tenth of its nominal output over the course of a year. - It produces hardly any power in winter when demand is highest. - Power output is severely intermittent, lying below 10% of installed capacity for 5,790 hours a year and exceeding 60% for only 7. The whole report is quite long and detailed but should not be ignored.