SUNPOINT will make the Norwegian solar industry better equipped at seizing the growth opportunities present in the Norwegian solar energy market. By developing better data, tools, and analyses for evaluating the Norwegian solar resource, the project will facilitate more accurate and accessible energy assessments for solar power in Norway, both for individual installations and for higher level estimates aimed at policy makers. These targets are achieved through three complementary subtasks.

1) Irradiance – The Norwegian Meteorological Institute will exploit their broad competence on numerical weather predictions (the models weather forecast are based on) to produce better solar irradiance values for Norway. Accurate irradiance data will be generated by developing numerical weather predictions which are tailored to irradiance calculations. The calculations will be improved by using ground observations, satellite data and cloud camera images.

2) Energy assessments – Better irradiance values is important for energy estimates, but is only part of the picture. Translating irradiance to energy depends on a range of different algorithms and considerations. IFE will identify and evaluate the relevant methods for translation, and give a regionally resolved recommendation for estimating the energy production of a solar power plant.

3) Integration – Using the accurate energy assessments, IFE will evaluate the technical potential of Norwegian solar energy. The technical potential is subsequently exploited to investigate how the resource can be utilized in a sustainable socio-economic fashion, with regards to installation (which building types should be exploited? at which tilt should the panels be installed? what is the optimal installation direction?), flexibility needs, and influence on other energy sources.

Through this holistic approach, the project will provide decision support for stakeholders throughout the solar industry from developers to politicians.