The impact of climate change on photovoltaic power generation for solar installations in the Atacama desert
Recommended citation: Bayo-Besteiro, S.; de la Torre, L.; Costoya, X.; Pérez-Alarcón, A.; Gómez-Gesteira, M; de Castro, M.; Añel, J. (2022). The impact of climate change on photovoltaic power generation for solar installations in the Atacama desert. XXXVIII Reunión Bienal de la Real Sociedad Española de Física . Murcia, 11-15 July 2022. https://www.um.es/fisica/bienal-2022/assets/content/AS6.pdf
The solar power installed capacity has experienced signicant development in the last years worldwide. The irradiance is the essential variable to produce solar power, although the temperature plays an essential role too in the eciency of a solar installation. The Atacama desert in South America is one of the regions on our planet with some of the greatest irradiance levels; thus, its solar power installed capacity has experienced a signicant boost in the last ten years. One of the keys to improving the protability and the eciency of a solar installation is to know the future power generation. For example, such knowledge lets to make appropriate geographical choices of the areas to be exploited. In this work, we analysed variations in photovoltaic (PV) generation in the Atacama desert during the period 2021-2060 by means of an ensemble of three regional climate models from the CORDEX project. We validated the accuracy of these simulations by comparing them with data from the ERA5 reanalysis. The results show that for 2021-2060 the number of days with high-temperature values will increase compared to 1980-2005. For the case of irradiance, the number of days with high values will decrease; meanwhile, low irradiance days will increase, especially for the period 2041-2060. Overall, a decrease in PV generation is projected along the period studied (higher for (2041-2060)). The changes in the distribution of temperatures are expected to be the main responsible for reducing PV generation.