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Estimate of solar energy resources in Africa with Earth Observation

Lucien Wald


Assessment of solar radiation available at ground level is critical in many aspects, from exploitation of solar energy to climate research. The current means to assess solar radiation over Africa are discussed. There are a few stations in the meteorological networks measuring the global radiation on horizontal plane. Their number decreases in the years due to maintenance costs and other adverse effects. These stations are too few to produce a realistic view of the solar radiation that could be useful for any site located at more than 50 km from a measuring station. A number of efforts were made to produce maps from satellite data since 1980. Satellite images cover the whole Africa and offer a high repetitivity in time, approximately one image every 30 min or 15 min. The MINES ParisTech has recently released the HelioClim-1 database which has been recognised as a critical Earth Observation priorities data set from the International Group on Earth Observation (GEO). HelioClim-1 has been computed from the Meteosat series of European satellites. It offers daily values of solar radiation for a period of 21 years for any site in Africa. Its access is for-free via the SoDa Service website ( The performances of HelioClim-1 compared to coincident ground measurements are discussed.
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Dates et versions

hal-00741562 , version 1 (14-10-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00741562 , version 1


Lucien Wald. Estimate of solar energy resources in Africa with Earth Observation. 10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa, Oct 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ⟨hal-00741562⟩
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