Using smart meter data

February 2024

We are working as part of a consortium to address the trustworthy use of smart meter data within the UK energy system.

PV_Live EU

November 2023

Working with Advanced Infrastructure Technology and funded under the C-ZERO project we’ve developed a European version of PV Live capable of providing half hourly outturns at NUTS 3 level. To request a demo account on our API please contact us.

Europe map shaded to indicate PV Capacity

PV capacity reporting (GB)

April 2023

PV capacity reporting becomes routinely released on a quarterly basis using capacity updates from Solar Media, the Renewable Energy Planning Database, the FIT database and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. We apply cross referencing and validation tools to ensure there is no duplication of capacity amongst the different sources and that the final solar site list is as accurate as possible. Capacity is released at national and regional level.

GB installed PV capacity graph

Machine learning models for electricity demand

February 2023

We are continuing to work with Advanced Infrastructure Technology to further develop our machine learning models for electricity demand under the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.

Advanced Infrastructure logo

Uncertainty in PV capacity estimates

March 2022

PhD candidate Owen Huxley and the PV Live team have published a key paper analysing the uncertainty in PV capacity estimates in Great Britain. PV capacity is a key dataset in the estimation of PV outturn and the paper allows an overall calculation of the error on half hourly PV outturn.

Graph of FIT rate and unregistered PV systems in Great Britain

Electricity demand modelling

June 2021

We’ve won funding as part of the Modernising Energy Data Applications competition working with Advanced Infrastructure Technology Ltd to develop a proof of concept machine learning model for electricity demand to support decision making in local area energy planning.

LEAP+ showing a map of part of Glasgow

PV Live goes commercial

March 2021

We are continuing to provide our PV Live services to National Grid ESO on a commercial basis.

Diagram illustrating data flows for PV_Live

Working with National Grid ESO

March 2018

We’re currently part way through a 3 year collaboration project with National Grid (ESO), ‘PV Monitoring Phase 3’, funded by the Network Innovation Allowance. The project aims to augment the PV_Live methodology in order to provide 5 minutely outturn estimates in near-real-time; to improve the accuracy of the regional PV outturn estimates through better mapping of the electricity network; and to develop a methodology for estimating the deployed PV capacity using metered demand data and modelled PV yield.

ngESO logo

Collaboration with National Grid ESO

July 2015

Start of a 2 year collaboration project ‘PV Monitoring Phase 2’ with National Grid (ESO) funded by the Network Innovation Allowance. The project set out to develop a methodology for monitoring the national and regional outturn from GB solar in near-real-time and historically.

ngESO logo


October 2014

Using data from the Microgen Database we estimate the potential generation from a PV system on a monthly and annual basis. It compared data from surrounding operational systems with that from an established tool.

PV_Profiler illustration

Microgen Database

March 2011

Image of UK with different coloured dots overlaid corresponding to solar generation locations

PV generation data is crowd-sourced via the Microgen Database to expand our research into the characterisation and modelling of PV performance in the UK.


August 2010

2010 Photo of Nick Clegg at Sheffield Solar Farm (on roof of Hicks Building)
Nick Clegg at our testbed launch event 20/08/2010

Our earliest work focused on comparisons of emerging solar PV technologies and how they perform in the UK climate specifically. We installed a PV testbed on the roof of the Hicks Building in Sheffield and began to study the generation and performance from new and disruptive alongside established PV technologies.

Sheffield Solar Launches

July 2010

Shine logo

The Sheffield Solar research group is formed in the Physics & Astronomy department, at the University of Sheffield, as part of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. It works to bridge the gap between the research lab and how solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is used in the real world and to understand its performance and impact.