Renewable Energy News has a report on a newly released online atlas of renewable energy resources - Australian Renewable Energy Atlas Launched. The atlas is a little slow and clunky, but its a great resource nevertheless.
Last Friday, Environment Minister Peter Garrett launched Australia's first interactive atlas designed to map all of Australia's renewable energy resources.
The Renewable Energy Atlas is a user-friendly online tool showing highly detailed, nationwide information on all forms of renewable energy including solar radiation levels, wave and tidal information, ocean currents, biomass, wind speed and geothermal (ground) temperatures. It also includes data such as energy infrastructure, power lines and power plants, roads, land tenure and climate information such as rainfall
The Atlas has been designed for use by the entire community; from householders and students interested in learning about Australia's renewable energy potential to planners and investors researching data for clean power generation projects.
Users can zoom into a specific area, even down to street level and then add and subtract layers from the map. At this point in time, solar radiation levels are described in mega joules per square meter annually, which is mostly useful to researchers. For householders and those generally curious about solar power potential in their area, the Energy Matters system builder tool will display kilowatt hours per meter squared per day for a given area which is probably more meaningful data when considering the design of an off grid or grid connect systems for home solar power.
The Renewable Energy Atlas has been funded under the Australian Government's Low Emissions Technology and Abatement Program as part of the nation's commitment to an MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target) of 20% by 2020 and will continue to be developed on an ongoing basis by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.