15B.4 Examining Shortwave Radiation Trends in the Northeastern United States

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 4:15 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center )
Alexandria Maynard, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT; and A. Fitzpatrick and J. Hanrahan

To mitigate global climate change, the use of renewable energy is expected to rise as efforts continue to reduce fossil fuel consumption.  In particular, it is projected that long-term energy needs are most likely to be met with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, much of which will come from utility-scale solar power plants.  Future solar radiation values at potential sites may be estimated from observed historical data, but these data are usually available for periods of 10 years or less.  An accurate sense of large-scale climate variability cannot be captured within such a short time period, and unanticipated weather patterns associated with varying cloud cover are key risks for large-scale PV projects, thus having significant impacts on long-term revenue.  Furthermore, future precipitation is expected to deviate from observed values under anthropogenic climate change, therefore suggesting that cloud cover will also change.  In the present study, the diurnal temperature range is used to create a new climatology of shortwave radiation in the Northeastern United States.  Monte Carlo significance testing is used to examine recent trends in this region.
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