The Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy - a project of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), Solar and Wind Working Group - is an ambitious initiative to create an internet-based geographic information system that maps solar and wind resources in detail globally.
It will serve as a tool for developing and collaborating on worldwide renewable energy scenarios, and will help support decision-making, particularly in regions where useful resource information doesn’t yet exist.
Alongside the third CEM which is an annual gathering of 24 countries on how policy can accelerate the global transition to clean energy, its Multilateral Working Group on Solar and Wind Energy Technologies (MWGSW) co-hosted a workshop together with the Imperial College and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), where the first prototype of the Atlas was presented to assembled experts. The prototype takes the Mediterranean region as a test case for solar energy and Brazil as first case for wind energy. The next several months will see further refinements in usability and the integration of further data sets before the first functional version’s planned launch in October 2012.
“This is an unprecedented and ambitious global project,” notes Florian Bauer, Operations & IT Director of REEEP, responsible for the reegle information portal, “and as a Linked Open Data provider, reegle (www.reegle.info) is providing data sets for the Atlas on energy policy and regulation. It’s a clear example of where open data can contribute to clean energy development.” The Atlas has support from international institutions such as IRENA and UNEP, research institutes and private companies, and a growing number of nations that are seeking to widen the share of renewables in their energy mix.
In parallel, the same side event also launched another capacity-building tool that REEEP is also supporting: the IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP), a new website which sought the expertise of reegle in conceptualising and setting up the portal. IRELP is an easily accessible online platform for renewable energy education and training, designed for worldwide use by learners – including students, vocational trainees and other professionals looking to develop and update their renewable energy knowledge; education and training providers; as well as government entities and decision makers.
This website aims to provide an exhaustive listing of clean energy education and training opportunities available worldwide; a library of renewable energy training materials; a database of webinars; an e-learning platform (Academy) where students receive support through e-learning lectures and tutorials; and a knowledge exchange forum for professors, experts and trainers. By providing this collaborative forum for educational institutions in the renewable energy field, IRELP aims to spur the development of new renewable energy education programmes, particularly in developing countries.