What is energy yield and why is it relevant when designing solar plants?

  • Published by
    Jeremy Vickerman

    Jeremy Vickerman

    Content specialist

  • Reviewed by
    Félix Pérez

    Félix Pérez

    Felix is a PV engineer and software developer, specializing in the development of calculation models and algorithms. After working in an engineering firm, he joined RatedPower to lead the development of the energy and topography calculation models of pvDesign, with a focus on building robust engineering software. Felix is enthusiastic about all disciplines of engineering, and enjoys discussing the more nuanced aspects of both. He is also very passionate about research, which has been a constant through his career in RatedPower.

14 Mar, 24

Read on to learn what energy yield is and how is it used in the design of solar PV plants.


What is energy yield?

Definition of Energy Yield: Energy yield is the energy produced by a renewable energy system, such as a solar PV installation. It accounts for external factors that reduce output in solar systems, like shading and accumulated dirt on panels.

Energy yield differs from power ratings, which indicate the maximum potential energy generation under ideal lab test conditions. Instead, energy yield aims to provide a practical, realistic estimate of how much energy can be produced by a system in its operating environment.

Why is energy yield important?

Accurately estimating and maximizing energy yield allows solar developers and asset owners to predict how much electricity a solar system can generate, thus shaping financial modeling and profitability analyses. Accurate yield forecasts can reduce solar financing costs by providing educated estimates around returns.

Energy yield projections influence system design choices to optimize peak production at the site based on environmental factors. Tracking energy yield during solar operations helps diagnose underperformance issues and identify opportunities to improve output through maintenance and operational changes. 

Some additional things to know about energy yield:

  • Experts calculate it through solar modeling software that uses the system's specifications and historical weather data for the location.

  • Two parameters which help analyze the system efficiency are performance ratio and specific production.

  • Optimizing designs and operations to maximize energy yield is vital to lowering the levelized cost of solar electricity.

Energy Yield Methodology

If you would like to understand how the energy yield calculation model works on the RatedPower platform please check out the methodology at the following link.

The rise of BESS in Australia

Design utility-scale solar at lightning speed

Related glossary posts

Searching results

Related posts

Searching results