Long-term solar radiation forecasting based on LSTM and attention mechanism: a case study in Algeria


  • Ali Teta
  • Maissa Medkour
  • Abdelaziz Rabehi
  • Belkacem Korich
  • Derradji Bakria




solar radiation, Forecasting, ANN, LSTM, BiLSTM, attention mechanism


The growing adoption of photovoltaic (PV) energy in urban areas underscores its capability to meet energy demands effectively. The accurate forecasting of meteorological parameters, particularly global solar radiation, is paramount for the efficient management and utilization of solar energy resources. Solar radiation forecasting methods typically fall into two main categories: cloud imagery combined with physical approaches, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based methods. Due to the non-stationary nature of solar radiation and the high nonlinearity of atmospheric conditions, conventional forecasting approaches often exhibit poor accuracy. Artificial intelligence based approaches, such as machine learning and deep learning algorithms, are extensively employed in global solar radiation forecasting research, demonstrating impressive accuracy.  In this respect, this paper presents a novel approach for long term monthly forecasting of global solar radiation using a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) architecture augmented with an attention mechanism that includes a Squeeze and Excitation (SE) block (SE-BiLSTM). The effectiveness of this model is extensively evaluated for long-term monthly solar radiation forecasting using meteorological data collected over a 20-year period (from Jan 2001 to Dec 2020) from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The proposed SE-BiLSTM model is compared with well-established forecasting models including Naïve, Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA), Multi-layer Perceptron (MLP), LSTM, and Bidirectional LSTM. Through rigorous simulation tests, our model demonstrates superior performance, achieving the lowest mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of 4.52% and mean absolute error (MAE) of 7.89 kW/m2. This advancement holds significant promise for enhancing solar energy forecasting accuracy and its practical application in renewable energy systems.


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How to Cite

Teta, A., Medkour, M., Rabehi, A., Korich, B., & Bakria, D. (2024). Long-term solar radiation forecasting based on LSTM and attention mechanism: a case study in Algeria. STUDIES IN ENGINEERING AND EXACT SCIENCES, 5(1), 1117–1134. https://doi.org/10.54021/seesv5n1-058