A wind-support firm says it has released a global solar map and dataset to complete its goal of identifying and mapping the world’s wind and solar resources using a globally consistent method. 3TIER, Seattle, says it has completed its effort to remap the world which began in March 2008 to address the biggest barrier to global renewable energy adoption: A lack of reliable information regarding resource potential and availability.
“The company’s aim in developing these maps is to accelerate adoption of renewable energy around the world by providing a blueprint for development,” says 3TIER founder and CEO Kenneth Westrick.
“The maps are part of an effort to build a renewable energy information service which will provide users with on-demand access to 3TIER’s large datasets for wind and solar resources,” says Westrick. “This data will let global decision-makers and organizations look at wind and solar potential on a regional scale and help maximize the value of renewable resources while mitigating the risks of their inherent variability.”
The global solar map and dataset is based on 10 to 13 years of half-hourly, high-resolution, visible satellite imagery collected from nine different satellites dispersed across the globe and covering the entire surface of the earth. Satellite imagery was processed using a uniform method based upon a combination of in-house and peer-reviewed research documents supported by the global atmospheric science community.
“This global solar map and dataset offers a combination of resolution and spatial extent not offered elsewhere,” says Bart Nijssen, 3TIER senior vice president of technology. “To provide the most accurate solar data available, we produced a satellite observation-based dataset because the traditional numerical weather prediction methods used for wind climatology do a poor job of modeling cloud cover, a major factor for determining solar radiation.”
At a resolution 3 to 30 times higher than other publicly available data sources, the global solar map and datasets leverage several improvements to provide:
- Global coverage between 50° S and 60° N
- Spatial resolution of 2 arc-minutes (approximately 3 km)
- Hourly values of GHI, DNI, and DIF extending back 10 to 13 years
“The dataset provides the in-depth solar irradiance information essential to developers, financiers, and governments for targeting the best regions in the world for development,” says Westrick. As part of the initiative, the company has also produced a 5-km resolution global wind map and dataset, based on proven techniques and by applying advanced numerical weather prediction models, which accurately diagram wind spatial and temporal variability.
Filed Under: Software