Solar energy is one of the areas of renewable energy, which is based on the direct conversion of solar energy into other forms of energy, such as electricity or heat. Solar energy is environmentally friendly industry, whose development is driven by economic factors (increasing of prices for traditional energy sources while reducing the cost of equipment using renewable energy), and programs of state support (for example, «green tariff») existing in many countries.
The issue of the solar system performance is one of the first that people ask when planning to invest in solar power. The amount of electricity that will be produced with the help of the solar module depends on many factors, including the geographical location of the solar power plant. At all other things being equal the amount of electricity produced is direct proportional to the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface at the solar power plant location. Solar energy is one of the environmentally sustainable resources for producing electricity using photovoltaic (PV) systems. The main input data used in the planning process is solar radiation. Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS) has developed a solar radiation database from climatologic data homogenized for Europe and available in the European Solar Radiation Atlas. The model algorithm estimates beam, diffuse and reflected components of the clear-sky and real-sky global irradiance/irradiation on horizontal or inclined surfaces.
The geographical location of Ukraine is good for using of solar energy technologies. On the maps below you can see the solar potential of Ukraine and compare it with irradiation in other European countries.
This map shows the distribution of the global solar irradiation and the solar electric potential on the territory of Ukraine in the case of the orientation of solar modules to the south at the optimal angle (the most perpendicularly to the sun’s rays).
This map shows the distribution of the total annual amount of solar irradiation and solar electric potential for Europe. The data are given for the case of solar modules orientation to the south and the optimum angle of inclination with respect to the earth’s surface.