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Effects of Aerosols and Clouds on the Levels of Surface Solar Radiation and Solar Energy in Cyprus

Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA), 15236 Athens, Greece
Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens (IERSD/NOA), 15236 Athens, Greece
Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol CY-3036, Cyprus
Eratosthenes Centre of Excellence, Limassol CY-3036, Cyprus
Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Physicalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, CH-7260 Davos, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manuel Antón
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(12), 2319;
Received: 4 May 2021 / Revised: 9 June 2021 / Accepted: 10 June 2021 / Published: 13 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Estimation of the Surface Solar Irradiance Using Remotely Sensed Data)
Cyprus plans to drastically increase the share of renewable energy sources from 13.9% in 2020 to 22.9% in 2030. Solar energy can play a key role in the effort to fulfil this goal. The potential for production of solar energy over the island is much higher than most of European territory because of the low latitude of the island and the nearly cloudless summers. In this study, high quality and fine resolution satellite retrievals of aerosols and dust, from the newly developed MIDAS climatology, and information for clouds from CM SAF are used in order to quantify the effects of aerosols, dust, and clouds on the levels of surface solar radiation for 2004–2017 and the corresponding financial loss for different types of installations for the production of solar energy. Surface solar radiation climatology has also been developed based on the above information. Ground-based measurements were also incorporated to study the contribution of different species to the aerosol mixture and the effects of day-to-day variability of aerosols on SSR. Aerosols attenuate 5–10% of the annual global horizontal irradiation and 15–35% of the annual direct normal irradiation, while clouds attenuate 25–30% and 35–50% respectively. Dust is responsible for 30–50% of the overall attenuation by aerosols and is the main regulator of the variability of total aerosol. All-sky annual global horizontal irradiation increased significantly in the period of study by 2%, which was mainly attributed to changes in cloudiness. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar energy; dust; aerosol; clouds; Cyprus solar energy; dust; aerosol; clouds; Cyprus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fountoulakis, I.; Kosmopoulos, P.; Papachristopoulou, K.; Raptis, I.-P.; Mamouri, R.-E.; Nisantzi, A.; Gkikas, A.; Witthuhn, J.; Bley, S.; Moustaka, A.; Buehl, J.; Seifert, P.; Hadjimitsis, D.G.; Kontoes, C.; Kazadzis, S. Effects of Aerosols and Clouds on the Levels of Surface Solar Radiation and Solar Energy in Cyprus. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2319.

AMA Style

Fountoulakis I, Kosmopoulos P, Papachristopoulou K, Raptis I-P, Mamouri R-E, Nisantzi A, Gkikas A, Witthuhn J, Bley S, Moustaka A, Buehl J, Seifert P, Hadjimitsis DG, Kontoes C, Kazadzis S. Effects of Aerosols and Clouds on the Levels of Surface Solar Radiation and Solar Energy in Cyprus. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(12):2319.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fountoulakis, Ilias, Panagiotis Kosmopoulos, Kyriakoula Papachristopoulou, Ioannis-Panagiotis Raptis, Rodanthi-Elisavet Mamouri, Argyro Nisantzi, Antonis Gkikas, Jonas Witthuhn, Sebastian Bley, Anna Moustaka, Johannes Buehl, Patric Seifert, Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis, Charalampos Kontoes, and Stelios Kazadzis. 2021. "Effects of Aerosols and Clouds on the Levels of Surface Solar Radiation and Solar Energy in Cyprus" Remote Sensing 13, no. 12: 2319.

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