- Joint Program Report
The extent, availability and reliability of solar power generation are assessed over Europe, and—following a previously developed methodology—special attention is given to the intermittency of solar power. Combined with estimates of wind power resource over Europe from a companion assessment, we assess the benefits of co-location of solar and wind power installations, particularly with respect to aggregate power generation and local mitigation of intermittency. Consistent with previous studies, our results show that the majority of solar potential is found in southern Europe, which also displays the strongest availability. We also found that higher latitude locations, around central Europe, benefit from medium to high solar power during the warm season. If a region’s availability of solar power is sufficient—as determined by a minimum technological threshold for photovoltaic extraction— it possesses the potential to reduce intermittency by aggregation and interconnection. We find these conditions occurring to a moderate extent over mainland central Europe. Finally, the result of co location of wind and solar power is increased power availability over the whole continent, especially in central Europe where neither resource is strong. In terms of local intermittency mitigation, the regions that benefit most are the Mediterranean and Baltic countries.