The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has just launched a website with an application designed to map the US potential energy sources called RE Atlas. Dan Getman, the lead developer for the project calls RE Atlas “an excellent tool for policymakers, planners, energy developers, and others who need to better understand the renewable resources available in the United States.”
RE Atlas Overview:
- The map displays nine different energy categories – Hydro (FSPS), Geothermal (PHS), Biomass Residue, Geothermal (EGS,) Wind Speed (Offshore), Wind Power Class (Onshore), Wave Power Density, and our favorites, Concentrated Solar Power and Solar Photovoltaic, on a menu called “layers.”
- Layers can be switched on and off to compare different energy options in a particular area and they can be further divided by reference data categories like “State,” “Congressional Districts,” and “EPA Contaminated Land.”
- Under a menu called “Legends,” users can view scale ratings for each energy category. While the scope and versatility of the visual information is impressive, the site also catalogs data sources and links on a separate tab.
Even though it is primarily intended for users who are already a part of the green energy industry, these types of resources are great for people eager to learn more about the field at large and ultimately, become successful in a renewable energy related job.
Overall, the map is a useful hands on tool that lets users get a quick idea of the many renewable energy sources available nationwide. As technology helps provide comprehensive information to the general public, we can expect to see more and more people interested in green energy education. Always on the lookout for current educational resources focused on renewable energy, US Solar Institute team members had our own fun and educational experience with RE Atlas, which is available to the public for free here.