With climate change an ever present concern, the discussion has largely turned to how to effectively integrate renewable energy sources into the electricity requirements of the nation.

Central to this is a strong understanding of the energy currently produced by solar power, and how this energy can be efficiently integrated into the electricity grid.

To this end, we are working with the National Grid to offer the utility access to our database of rooftop solar panels, which is the largest in the UK.

The rise in solar power

Solar power has become an increasingly viable energy source, and has surged in popularity in the last five years to provide up to 16% of our energy needs.

Despite the growth in supply from solar, there is very little data available on the energy generated by solar in the UK.  The National Grid currently tap into weather information and use this to generate an estimate of the energy being created.

Researchers at the university are working with them to develop a tool that can use live data to produce a better quality estimate.

“Our website also allows people to see our live generation feed showing how much power is being produced by solar in Britain every half hour,” the project team say.

“The electricity system is separated into supply points. Eventually the tool will show how much is being produced at each of the National Grid’s main supply points, of which there are about 400 nationally,” they continue.

With solar remaining an unpredictable energy source for as long as it takes to produce a suitable battery to store the energy generated, this service will hopefully go some way to help the National Grid manage things in a more effective manner.