For the first time, privately-produced renewable energy resource data is available for download to all for free. This past May, IRENA’s Global Atlas for Renewable Energy unveiled a new feature that allows users to download renewable resource data from selected datasets for offline analysis. Up to now, only data from selected publicly-funded sources was available. This has changed now that Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement, has made its average annual data on solar irradiation and wind speeds available for download through the Global Atlas. This capability gives developers, policy makers, and researchers access to globally consistent resource data that can be used in setting policy and performing initial project planning and prospecting.
Today, IRENA launched a new version of the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, the online renewable energy mapping platform. For the first time, the platform allows users to download resource data for offline analysis, and to print and export map images.
With these enhancements, the Global Atlas now offers a complete suite of services to support renewable resource mapping and assessment, including an online GIS interface, datasets for five renewable energy technologies that cover every country in the world, online analysis tools, and the ability to export data and maps in several different formats. Continue reading Renewable Resource Data Now Available for Free Download
As many countries look toward incorporating renewables into their energy mix, they seek reliable renewable energy data. In planning wind farms, for example, developers naturally pick areas with the highest wind speeds. In datasets that provide average wind speeds over large areas, the enhancement of wind speeds due to small-scale features such as hills and ridges are not captured and are underestimated, making the prospective area appear weaker than it actually is.
The Global Wind Atlas, launched today by IRENA and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), provides the most detailed data and statistics on global wind energy potential available – for free. It displays wind resource data at one-kilometre resolution. Prior to this release, wind data was only publicly available at 10-kilometre resolution or poorer, resulting in underestimations, increased risk and costs to wind energy planners. The platform provides visual maps showing wind speeds at three different heights, and also includes tools to generate and export data and statistics such as wind roses and wind speed distributions over a chosen area. The dataset uses microscale modeling to capture wind speed variability on small scales, allowing for better estimates.
Visual Wind Data: Choose between three layers of data showing wind speeds at heights of 50, 100 and 200 metres. Different wind speeds are shown in different colours, so that users can easily identify promising locations for wind development.
Supplemental Data: Users can also overlay other existing Global Atlas data, such as electricity transmission lines, roads, and population centres, that can further guide planners in selecting the best locations to focus on for wind energy development.
Generate Charts: Draw an area on the map, and generate charts and tables showing data for that specific area. Examples include wind rose charts and wind speed distributions.
Data Download: Download wind data for a specific geographic area to Excel for use in further analysis.
Mobile Access: View visual wind data with the Global Atlas pocket app, available for iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry.
The Wind Atlas is an IRENA and DTU collaborative effort that builds on decades of expertise in wind mapping at DTU. It was funded by Denmark as part of its commitment to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) process, and represents the achievement of the goal set forth by the CEM’s Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group to help increase the global share of renewable energy by providing the world with detailed and validated wind potentials through an online platform.
A technical webinar including a demo of the system will take place on 3 November. Click here for more information and to register.