Monitoring atmospheric composition & climate
Solar Radiation

solar radiation

Solar radiation is a central factor affecting human’s life – it’s influencing wide fields like health, agriculture or the evolving transition process towards renewable energies. The amount of incoming solar radiation at the surface is defined by the atmospheric conditions found on the way from the top of the atmosphere to the surface. Clouds, aerosols, water vapor and ozone are the main parameters changing the radiation due to absorption and scattering processes.

 MACC-II deals both with the ultraviolet part of the spectrum having impact on human health and with the visible solar spectrum being relevant for solar energy usage. Global and direct irradiances are provided for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia providing the solar energy industry, the electricity sector, governments, and renewable energy organizations and institutions with suitable and accurate information of the solar radiation resources at the Earth's surface in easily-accessible formats and understandable quality metrics. A high-quality system of global ultraviolet (UV) irradiance monitoring constitutes a valuable tool to provide global coverage information for UV impact studies. Both services make use of the enhanced MACC-II capabilities with respect to aerosols and ozone.

Access to Product Catalogue filtered for Solar Radiation Services

User cases

GeoModel Solar


MACC-II has been providing aerosol forecasts to GeoModel Solar, a company specialised in site qualification, planning, financing and operation of solar energy systems. Aerosols directly affect the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface and therefore are one of the components determining the amount of solar radiation available for solar energy purposes at any one location on theEarth.




Forecasting air pollution

Solar energy is becoming an important source of renewable power generation. A serious problem for the productivity of solar power plants is desert dust: it obscures the sun and makes the mirrors dirty. To prevent energy loss and improve the management of solar power plants scientists of the European research project MACC II are now using a 5-day forecast to predict the movements of desert dust and thus will be able to inform power plant managers beforehand.