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Solar Resource Data, Tools, and Maps

Explore solar resource data via our online geospatial tools and downloadable maps and data sets.

Geospatial Data Tools

Developer Network: Solar
This is a list of resources intended to help developers programmatically gain access to NREL’s geospatial solar data and models.

Solar Radiation Research Laboratory: Baseline Measurement System
Provides access to live graphical displays, current and historic datasets and more at NREL’s Solar Radiation Research Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Federal Energy Management Program Screening Map
Examines the viability of three solar technologies in the United States at the state and federal levels.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Tracking the Sun
Collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public to compile a comprehensive database of photovoltaic installation data for the United States.

National Solar Radiation Database 
Contains high-resolution meteorological and solar irradiance datasets for select global regions.

PVDAQ
Features U.S. photovoltaic performance data contributed to NREL.

PVWatts
Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic energy systems throughout the world.

Renewable Energy Atlas
View and explore renewable energy resource data.

Renewable Energy Potential Model 
Empowers users to calculate renewable energy capacity, generation, and cost based on geospatial intersection with grid infrastructure and land-use characteristics.

Solar for All
Visualizes U.S. rooftop solar technical potential by income, building type, and tenure occupancy in the residential sector.

Tribal Energy Atlas
Explore techno-economic renewable energy potential on tribal lands.

National Solar Radiation Database: International Data
Features a growing list of meteorological and solar irradiance data sets for countries in different parts of the world.

Renewable Energy Data Explorer
Features solar data sets for the following countries:

Solar Resource Maps

The maps below illustrate select multiyear annual and monthly average maps and geospatial data from the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) Physical Solar Model (PSM). The PSM covers most of the Americas. Learn about the NSRDB PSM

To access the data directly and learn more about data development, please visit the NSRDB.

These maps may be used in electronic and printed publications with proper citation.

Global Horizontal Irradiance

Download the global horizontal irradiance (GHI) maps individually below, or download all the GHI maps at once

Note: The publication dates listed below don't necessarily reflect the publication dates of the data therein.

Annual Average

Monthly Averages

The monthly average maps use the same color scale and class breaks as the annual average map for the contiguous United States for the purpose of showing monthly variation relative to the annual average.

Direct Normal Irradiance

Download the direct normal irradiance (DNI) maps individually below, or download all the DNI maps at once

Note: The publication dates listed below don't necessarily reflect the publication dates of the data therein.

Annual Average

Monthly Averages

The monthly average maps use the same color scale and class breaks as the annual average map for the contiguous United States for the purpose of showing monthly variation relative to the annual average.

Solar Resource Data Sets

To make the above maps, the multiyear solar irradiance was calculated from the NSRDB. These derived data sets are provided below as geospatial rasters.

To view and use these data sets, you need appropriate geographic information system software.

The Americas

Global Horizontal Irradiance (Multiyear annual and monthly averages)

Feb. 22, 2018

Download Rasters

Direct Normal Irradiance (Multiyear annual and monthly averages)

Feb. 22, 2018

Download Rasters

Cite the Maps and Data

Please cite use of the maps and data accordingly.

Sengupta, M., Y. Xie, A. Lopez, A. Habte, G. Maclaurin, and J. Shelby. 2018. "The National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB)." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews  89 (June): 51-60.

Contact

If you have any questions about the maps and data, please contact us.