A short-term solar radiation forecasting system for the Iberian Peninsula. Part 1: Models description and performance assessment Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2020

start page

  • 396

end page

  • 412


  • 195

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0038-092X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-1257


  • The ability of four models to provide short-term (up to 6 h ahead) GHI and DNI forecasts in the Iberian Peninsula is assessed based on two years of data collected at four stations. The models follow (mostly) independent approaches: one pure statistical model (Smart Persistence), one model based on CMV derived from satellite images (Satellite), one NWP model (WRF-Solar) and a hybrid satellite-NWP model (CIADCast). Overall, results show Smart Persistence to be the best at the first lead steps, advective models (Satellite and CIADCast) at intermediate ones and the WRF-Solar at the end of the forecasting period. The break-even point between the advective models and WRF-Solar varies between 1 and 3 h for GHI and 3 and 5 h for DNI. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis shows enormous differences between models performance related to 1) the local geographic and topographic conditions of the evaluation stations; 2) the evaluated variable (GHI vs. DNI); and 3) the sky and synoptic weather conditions over the study area. Depending on the station and lead time, rRMSE values range from 25% to 70% for GHI and from 35% to 100% for DNI. For the same stations and leading time, rRMSE values for DNI are between 50% and 100% higher than the corresponding GHI counterparts. Depending on the synoptic pattern, rRMSE values are about 10/20% for GHI/DNI (3 h lead time, during high pressure conditions) to about 80/180% for GHI/DNI (during low pressure conditions). All models show a poor performance at a coastal station, attributed to a lack of ability to forecast clouds associated with sea-land breezes. To conclude, no single model proves to be the best performing model and, therefore, results show that the four models are, somehow, complementary. The advantages attained by this complementarity are further explored in a companion paper (Part II).


  • Computer Science


  • short-term forecasting; ghi; dni; msg; nwp; weather patterns