Solar forecasting and real-time irradiance data

We produce real-time estimates of solar radiation and solar power globally, and forecasts based on where cloud cover will move next

Live & forecast data: Tracking the world’s cloud cover in real-time

Solcast Rapid Update Satellite Coverage Solcast forecasts solar irradiance and PV power from +5 minutes to 7 days ahead, worldwide, and our live data are available in real-time, through the past 7 days. All delivered via API and available for instant access through our API Toolkit.

‘Global Coverage’ is one of the features that sets Solcast apart from the competition, with data available on every major continent. The other is ‘Rapid Update’, where we update our live and forecast data as frequently as every 5 minutes, crunching more than 600 million new solar predictions every hour.

Solcast’s live and forecast data services are trusted by 17,000+ unique users around the world, including:

How do we create our live and forecast data?

By combining imagery from five geostationary weather satellites, which image the globe at a spatial resolution as fine as 1 kilometer, we geo-code, quality control and compute solar irradiance estimates worldwide. We refresh these estimates every 5-15 minutes, and in a matter of tens of seconds make them available via API.

This API service features two key data categories - ‘Live’ and ‘Forecast’. Live data is a snapshot of what is happening now (real-time) through the past 7 days. Forecast data is a prediction of what will occur next, starting as little as five-minutes ahead, through 7-days in the future. Both data categories receive Rapid Update data every 5-15 minutes with each new satellite scan.

See the animation below for an example of how we track and forecast the movement of clouds. At left, Solcast’s live cloud opacity measurements over the United Kingdom. At right, a sample forecast, issued at the start of the animation and reaching out to two hours ahead. In this example, data from each of our 18 nowcasting ensemble members is included. All of our forecasts are ‘probabilistic’, and include a P50, P10 and P90 scenario.

Cloud opacity measurements over the United Kingdom

Live and Forecast Data - What’s Available?

Our datasets are updated every 5-15 minutes on a Rapid Update cycle, delivering you the latest live and forecast data within a few tens of seconds of Solcast receiving the latest satellite imagery.

Data Features

  • Solar irradiance data (GHI, DNI, Diffuse)
  • PV power modelling (Rooftop or Utility Scale)
  • Global coverage (all six major continents) at 1-2km resolution
  • Rapid Update (new live and forecast data every 5-15 minutes)
  • Proprietary cloud & aerosol detection (tracking smoke, dust, haze)
  • Probabilistic forecasting outputs
  • From 5 minutes through 7 days ahead at 5/10/15/30 minute resolution
  • Delivered via REST API (download CSV, JSON or XML)

Live and Forecasts Data Products

Solcast API Toolkit

The Solcast API Toolkit

Solcast takes on the many challenges of producing live and forecast solar data, so that you don’t have to. And that means making the data as easy to access, validate and integrate as possible, which is made possible through our API Toolkit. We provide instant access to live and forecast data products via this web interface, which is free to try. These include direct estimates of global, direct and diffuse solar radiation, as well as PV power output.

API Toolkit AccountView Pricing Page