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Published on October 13th, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst


Making High-Resolution Renewable Energy Maps Free to the Masses

October 13th, 2008 by  

3tier western hemisphere solar resource mapI’ve always had a thing for maps, both in terms of their personal utility, like finding that little tent icon symbolizing a campground on a road map; but also in terms of their macro-level utility, like finding the optimal locations in a region to site renewable energy developments. Fortunately, Seattle-based 3TIER is filling the niche in the latter with their bundle of high-resolution renewable energy resource maps.

Today, 3TIER added to their arsenal of wind, solar, and hydro maps with the release of the first comprehensive, high-resolution solar map for all of North, Central, and South America.

>>More on maps at CleanTechnica

The freely usable online map map is three times the resolution of existing industry solar data standards for the United States. The map will allow policy-makers, developers and financiers to quickly identify potential sites and begin assessing their renewable energy potential.

Development of this solar map is part of 3TIER’s ‘REmapping the World‘ initiative, which is intended to accelerate the adoption and integration of renewable energies worldwide, especially in less developed locales.

“If we want developing nations to ‘leapfrog’ over fossil fuels,” said 3TIER CEO Kent Westrick, “they need information about what renewable energy resources or combination of resources exist.”

The maps provide enough resolution so countries and organizations can begin to look at the potential wind and solar resources at a regional level. The solar map is based on 11 years of half-hourly high resolution (roughly 1 km) visible satellite imagery that has been processed to create 11 years of hourly values.

Over the coming months, 3TIER plans to continue to map solar resources, country by country, based upon a priority order that takes into account such issues as solar development policies, availability of the sun and economic development status.

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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

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