Home Featured Vaisala is the first private firm to make wind and solar resource datasets freely available to the international community for essential high-level energy system planning, via the IRENA Global Atlas
Vaisala is the first private firm to make wind and solar resource datasets freely available to the international community for essential high-level energy system planning, via the IRENA Global Atlas

Vaisala is the first private firm to make wind and solar resource datasets freely available to the international community for essential high-level energy system planning, via the IRENA Global Atlas

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Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement and provider of industry-leading renewable energy consulting services, has partnered with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to provide an unprecedented level of 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 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. High-quality consistent resource data serves as a valuable precursor to larger, more resource-intensive efforts, such as the recently completed Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study and the U.S. Wind Integration Study, both projects which Vaisala’s energy consulting services supported.

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.

“By pushing the boundaries of publicly available resource data, IRENA and Vaisala are helping the sector to move faster by lowering the complexity of entry into new renewable energy markets. The private sector recognizes the challenge, and this contribution from Vaisala demonstrates their continued support of our goals.”

Pascal Storck, Global Manager of Energy Services at Vaisala, added: “Facilitating access to reliable resource data is an essential first step when it comes to supporting global renewable energy expansion.”

“It’s our goal and responsibility to minimize investment risk for the industry throughout the lifecycle of projects – from the early-stage prospecting efforts, this data enables to the more detailed financial forecasts and real-time operational support we provide to clients. Working with IRENA as part of the Global Atlas initiative gives us the opportunity to maximize the reach of our global wind and solar datasets to the benefit of the international renewable energy development community and its ambitions in promising new markets.”

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 ten 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 ten years of hourly data derived from satellite imagery and validated against ground measurements.

Vaisala provides customized long-term, updated time series from these datasets to customers around the world for project planning, financing, and monitoring. The company also provides weather measurement equipment and consulting services for renewable energy assessment and forecasting.

For more information on how to use the new download function, watch IRENA’s short tutorial on the new features in Version 2.1, or watch the webinar on Solar Resource Assessment with the IRENA Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, featuring a presentation from Gwen Bender, Product Manager for Energy Services at Vaisala. Learn more about Vaisala’s complete solar energy offering.

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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