Global Atlas to improve analysis of renewable energy potential
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched the world's first open access Global Atlas of renewable energy resources -- the largest initiative ever to help countries assess their renewable energy potential and invest in new markets.
The Atlas charts solar and wind resources and brings together data and resource maps from leading technical institutes and private companies worldwide. It also provides tools for evaluating the technical potential of renewable energy.
Traditional databases focus mainly on specific attributes, such as physical information on insulation or wind speed, while others feature economic and policy frameworks such as support mechanisms for renewable energies.
The Global Atlas is comprehensive and integrates all of the data and information needed to make informed decisions -- from resources to potential, including socio-economic data, policies and support mechanisms, and infrastructure data.
"In the next 10 years we expect a huge rise in the investments in renewable energy. The Global Solar and Wind Atlas will help us make the right decisions," said Martin Lidegaard, danish minister of climate, energy and building, at IRENA's annual general assembly of 150 countries.
The solar and wind Atlas will be expanded to the Global Renewable Energy Atlas in late 2014 to early 2015. The update will address geothermal, hydropower, bioenergy, and marine energies. The expanded Atlas will include additional datasets for solar and wind energy, as well as ancillary datasets required to assess renewable energy potentials such as population, land occupation, and protected areas. The range of available tools will be expanded, from a set of basic features, to more complex socio-economic analysis tools.
"The Global Atlas provides a powerful new tool in international efforts to double the world's share of renewable energy by 2030," said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA director-general. "With 22 countries now taking part, and more expected to join in the coming months, it is a clear sign of our growing political will to transition to clean, renewable energy."