Earth Notes: On Visualisation Tools for Renewables
Explaining and understanding renewables availabilty and generation numbers visually...
Sometimes a table of numbers or elegant prose doesn't get the message across
where a graph or a chart gets straight into the brain.
Renewable energy is not exempt from this truth.
For example, I've being trying to understand how the carbon intensity of
UK's electricity grid changes with time (by hour/week/month)
and even my feeble attempts at charting have really helped me understand.
Can We Live on Renewables in the UK?
Even ignoring issues of supply intermittency,
Chapter 18 of MacKay's book
illustrates with simple red and green stacks of consumption and generation
the difficulties of living on 'our' renewables in the UK,
even including PV farms in remote deserts, and other generous assumptions.
I'm trying to make this even easier to understand
by making it more of a 'what-if' tool,
usable by almost anyone,
but good enough for policy makers and decision takers!
You can try the
early working mockups at your own risk,
and you can also see some of its evolution and earlier revisions here:
12 (IE fixes),
13 (spreadsheet I/O),
14 (IE fixes),
15 ( copy to main site).
Data Viz Project: a website trying to present all relevant data visualizations, so you can find the right visualization and get inspiration on how to do it. 2017/07/13:
UK drought portal. 2015/03/07: Which Nations Have Reduced Carbon Intensity the Fastest? (UK is about #3 amongst OECD, partly because of deindustrialisation and partly because improved electricity generation efficiency and the "dash for gas".) 2012/04/03:
Data visualization: Science on the map and TileMill. 2012/11/28:
Interactive: global energy sources: "In 2011, the globe consumed the equivalent of 12,275 million tonnes of oil. Figures for the top 50 nations show how important fossil fuels remain; they supplied 87% of the world's energy." Arup
Interactive solar mapping tool. 2012/04/03:
Which Nations Have Reduced Carbon Intensity the Fastest? (UK is about #3 amongst OECD, partly because of deindustrialisation and partly because improved electricity generation efficiency and the "dash for gas".) 2012/04/02:
Domestic energy use map of Britain down to very small areas giving consumption averages for ~6000 people. Area E02000602 in Kingston upon Thames: average consumption of gas, per meter, kilo-watt hours: 13,143kWh, average consumption of electricity, per meter, kWh: 4,106kWh (cf ~6,000 and ~1,000 respectively for us, 14,898kWh and 4,709kWh for Britain). See backing data.
IRENA Global Atlas of renewable energy. The UK government (DECC)
2050 calculator tool: find the best route to meet the UK's 2050 greenhouse-gas targets from the comfort of your own home. No one ever need know that you have become part of the solution!
Without The Hot Air (free) book by David MacKay; real crunchy numbers and good diagrams.
Without The Hot Air: Chapter 18: Can we live on renewables? red and green stacks. Lou's
Energy and Environment Clocks. The
RealClimate Data Sources page. Information is Beautiful:
Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus.
WorldOmeters: real-time world statistics. Global
off-shore wind power maps.
IEA Interactive Sankey Diagram.