The number of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in Europe has drastically increased over the last few years, mostly thanks to the advantageous feed-in tariffs established by each country’s government. A relatively small fraction of the energy production data of these PV systems has been analyzed, and as a consequence, there still remain wide gaps in the knowledge of the real-world performance of these PV systems. This feedback from the field is nevertheless important for the future development of the PV industry and for the establishment of new renewable energy development schemes by the respective governments.

The aim of this working group is to create a meta-information system, which will offer free access to the anonymized PV power production data from selected PV systems monitored by the partners of the consortium and other sources of information that will be added to the collaborative platform during the project. We will seek other sources of information and connect more metadata about other PV projects worldwide.

At present, we are currently analyzing the data from around 50,000 PV systems in Europe. These data come from different sources and are the results of an ongoing collaboration between SERENDI-PV and other external partners.

In this work, we have tried to cast some light on some of the numerous remaining questions about the performance of PV systems in Europe. To do so, we have based our analysis on the operational data monitored at more than 50,000 PV systems in Europe. These installations comprise residential and commercial rooftop PV systems distributed all over Europe, and multi-megawatt PV plants installed in the South of Europe. These PV systems were installed between 2006 and 2020, and the data have been measured at time resolutions varying from minutely to monthly.

We have carried out an assessment of the energy production and the performance of all of these installations, from their commissioning date until the present time.

We have looked for important trends on these installations, such as the decrease in performance with the time of operation, or the increase in performance due to improvements in the quality of PV system components and installation practices. We have also studied the distribution of the installed power per region, as a function of the type of installation and the external incentives.

We have characterized the state of the art of the PV installations, both in terms of PV system components, installation topology, orientation, and peak power, differentiating from the small residential PV market in northern and mid-latitude Europe and the PV plants in the southern and sunnier countries. We have applied statistical analyses on the whole database, which has allowed us to analyze the main parameters that explain the important differences that were observed among the installations in terms of performance, such as the PV module technology and manufacturer, the PV inverter, the region and year of installation.

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