Compared with SolarAnywhere, Solcast has lower uncertainty, is faster to access, and is cheaper and easier to use. Solcast's mission is to bring you bankable data of top quality, faster, cheaper, and easier, and we think our database does just that.
The SolarAnywhere and Solcast methodology is relatively similar. Both are semi-empirical and are satellite-derived. Both rely on validated, published models to build a clear sky model, and use proprietary cloud detection models.
The input satellite imagery is similar, with SolarAnywhere and Solcast using approx. 1-2km grids. Both datasets downscale solar irradiance parameters, Solcast to 150m and SolarAnywhere to 1km.
Accuracy & Validation
Both Solcast's & SolarAnywhere models have been independently validated using multiple locations, Solcast's on a global basis, SolarAnywhere predominantly on a North American basis.
Solcast's model has been compared with BSRN ground station measurements, available in the public domain. You can request a copy of Solcast's validation report, and for further reading see error statistics for live and forecast data, and also for historical data and statistics.
SolarAnywhere and Solcast both offer global data coverage, however for SolarAnywhere many of its features related to satellite data are degraded or unavailable for areas outside the United States. For example, for SolarAnywhere, forecasting using satellite data is not available outside the United States, and near-realtime actuals data is not available for most of the Asia-Pacific region.
Data access + availability
SolarAnywhere products are available via web apps, with some API access available. Solcast products are available via the easy to use with API access for all products. Both offer historic and forecast data, including Timeseries & TMY data.
SolarAnywhere and Solcast make data available to download in formats ready to upload to common PV modelling software, including PVsyst, Helioscope, SAM, Homer, Plant Predict and more. Solcast has direct integrations with PVsyst and SAM.
The SolarAnywhere database is compiled using high-resolution new satellites, and lower-resolution, pre-21st century satellites. Data coverage begins at 1998/1999/2005 depending on location.
Solcast only uses data from recent generation geostationary meteorological satellites (GMS). For this reason, we do not use data prior to 2007. Prior to this time, we find too many data quality problems including geolocation, poor temporal sampling frequency, and unreliable or bad data. We are also conscious that some cases climate change makes earlier history for some locations a less useful future indicator. This ensures our entire database is based on data of the highest possible resolution, whilst still containing 15+ years of data history from which to understand the interannual variability. Users can be sure our accuracy and validation statistics apply to all our data, not just the most recent half of it.
Data types + granularity
SolarAnywhere and Solcast both offer hourly TMY data and Timeseries data at various time granularities.
|Timeseries||1, 5, 10, 15, 30 & 60min||1, 5, 10, 15, 30 & 60min|
|TMY||P50, P75, P90, P95, Pxx||P50, Pxx|
|Global horizontal irradiance (GHI)|
|Direct normal irradiance (DNI)|
|Diffuse horizontal irradiance (DHI)|
|Global tilted irradiance (GTI/POA)|
|Direct (Beam) horizontal irradiance|
|Top of Atm irradiance|
Elevation and altitude
Solcast maps altitude and elevation with a grid size of 150m2. SolarAnywhere do not document resolution of altitude and elevation.
Price and access
|Free pricing tier|
|All parameters available at the lowest tier|
|Free for researchers|