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SETIS - SET Plan information system
Specific report

EMHIRES dataset Part II Solar power generation


Publication date
1 January 2017
Joint Research Centre


The global energy markets are changing due to the clean energy transition. According to the International Energy Agency the renewable energy already exceeded coal as main source of power capacity in 2015. In the recent "Clean for Energy for All Europeans" package, the European Commission has defined three main goals to keep the European Union (EU) competitive and to lead this transition: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers. Thus, placing the renewable energy in a central position, Europe has set itself a target to collectively reach a share of at least 27% renewables in the final energy consumption by 2030. This could be translated as about half of the EU's electricity generation will come from renewables.

However, the rapid growing share of electricity production from intermittent renewable sources (wind and solar) increases the stochastic nature of the power system introducing instability to the system and high uncertainties to the market design. As a consequence, planning and scheduling tools for the power sector have been updated and the study of power systems with a high share of intermittent RES-E has become an established field in Power System Analysis. In particular, the adequate modelling of high RES-E penetration systems crucially depends on the accurate representation of the spatial and temporal characterisation of the wind and solar sources. RES-E data inherently bears the risk of being imperfect, inappropriate or incomplete which might lead to errors in power system studies which could be either overstating or downplaying the possible role of solar and wind energy in the future energy mix .

EMHIRES provides RES-E generation time series for the EU-28 and neighbouring countries. The solar power time series are released at hourly granularity and at different aggregation levels: by country, power market bidding zone, and by the European Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) defined by EUROSTAT; in particular, by NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 level. The time series provided by bidding zones include special aggregations to reflect the power market reality where this deviates from political or territorial boundaries.

The overall scope of EMHIRES is to allow users to assess the impact of meteorological and climate variability on the generation of solar power in Europe and not to mime the actual evolution of solar power production in the latest decades. For this reason, the hourly solar power generation time series are released for meteorological conditions of the years 1986-2015 (30 years) without considering any changes in the solar installed capacity. Thus, the installed capacity considered is fixed as the one installed at the end of 2015. For this reason, data from EMHIRES should not be compared with actual power generation data other than referring to the reference year 2015.

The Part I of the EMHIRES dataset comprises the wind power generation hourly time series with the same rationale and therefore, the EMHIRES wind and solar dataset make possible to prepare coupled wind –PV modelling and impact assessments.

Download the EMHIRES data files here.  

The terms and conditions for the reuse of the EMHIRES data can be found here.

EMHIRES dataset Part II Solar power generation


EMHIRES dataset Part II Solar power generation
(2.27 MB - PDF)