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Published on August 19th, 2016 | by Adam Johnston


IRENA Offers New Downloadable Wind and Solar Maps on Global Atlas

August 19th, 2016 by  

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released new downloadable wind and solar maps. These new maps for IRENA’s Global Atlas will improve global renewable energy data.

According to IRENA, environmental consulting company Vaisala helped provide years of solar irradiation and wind speed data for the updated global atlas.

IRENA Global Atlas

Image Credit: IRENA Global Atlas, via IRENA

Before this improvement, users could only retrieve publically sourced solar and wind data on IRENA’s renewable energy atlas. Private data will now enrich the experience, and offer a tremendous tool for people involved in the renewable energy industry and research.

IRENA Senior Programme Officer Nicolas Fichaux said both IRENA and Vaisala had worked hard to cut barriers to new potential energy markets with these new maps. Fichaux also said Vaisala’s ongoing support for IRENA shows how private sector companies understand the complexities of trying in reaching new renewable energy markets.

The maps on IRENA’s global atlas are available for download in 4MB through Vaisala’s GEOTIFF format. The solar dataset offers a yearly global horizontal irradiation (GHI) of 3km resolution. Meanwhile, 10 years’ worth of hourly data is coming from satellite images which were tested and checked against ground evaluations for both the solar and wind data set. The wind data set provides 5km resolution, with wind speeds reaching a height of 80 meters.

Vaisala’s Global Manager of Energy Services Pascal Storck also added that having real data sets is the first step to assisting worldwide energy market expansion.

“Working with IRENA as part of the Global Atlas initiative gives us the opportunity to maximize the reach of our global wind and solar datasets to the benefit of the international renewable energy development community and its ambitions in promising new markets,” Storck said.

As concerns about climate change grow, as it presents financial and security risks, this is all the more valuable. Investments in renewable energy are ramping up, but more data is helpful to facilitate faster growth. Accurate information is critical moving forward. Researchers, policy analysts, and developers now have a great tool to make sure new projects are built accurately while expanding into new markets.

Read more IRENA and Vaisala news from our archives.

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business www.salayconsultiing.com.

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