Free sun power and wind speed maps published on Global Atlas for Renewable Energy

IRENA global atlas
IRENA global atlas

Renewable energy consultancy Vaisala has partnered with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to provide free access to its global renewable energy resource data.

Vaisala has become the first business in the private sector to make its average annual solar irradiation and wind speed maps available for free download via IRENA’s Global Atlas for Renewable Energy.

In doing so IRENA and Finland-based Vaisala are giving developers, policy makers, and researchers access to globally consistent resource data that can be used in setting policy and performing initial project planning and prospecting.

As the international expansion of the wind and solar sectors continues to gain momentum, demand for high-quality trusted resource data has reached an all-time high. To pave the way for the influx and successful growth of renewable energy in new markets, decision makers guiding infrastructure and project investments must manage the inherent risks of weather-driven resources.

The new download feature in IRENA’s Global Atlas platform will allow users to integrate Vaisala’s extensive wind and solar datasets for the first time into their own software and modeling programs. In turn, this will enable developers to conduct offline analysis to inform prospecting efforts in new territories and ultimately influence critical investment decisions.

The data will also feed into high-level planning for transmission infrastructure, help regional governments structure renewable energy policy and provide a valuable resource for non-profits, NGOs, and public agencies working in a diverse range of fields from energy efficiency to agriculture and conservation.

Nicolas Fichaux, Senior Programme Officer at IRENA, is proud of the progress the Global Atlas has made since it was launched in 2013. “Our common goal is to accelerate the growth of renewables worldwide. To do this we need to increase the confidence of governments, investors, and the supply chain in new and emerging renewable energy markets – and for this, we need maps to show us where the resources are.”

Vaisala’s data can be downloaded from the Vaisala map in the Global Atlas in GeoTIFF format in portions of 4 MB. Vaisala’s global wind dataset provides average annual wind speeds at a height of 80 meters and a resolution of 5 km, based on 10 years of hourly data from advanced simulations and validated against ground measurements.

The global solar dataset provides average annual GHI at 3 km resolution. The data is based on over 10 years of hourly data derived from satellite imagery and validated against ground measurements. 

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