First-Ever Global Wind Map Made Public
The first ever seamless, global wind map was launched online yesterday for free viewing by the public, as well as countries and organizations developing wind powered renewable energy projects.
3TIER, a Seattle-based company providing assessment and forecasting of renewable energy, launched its REmapping the WorldTM" initiative at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008).
"With more than 1.3 billion people around the world with no access to electricity, REmapping the World will change the way we look at the world's renewable energy resources through sophisticated mapping technology," said Kenneth Westrick, 3TIER CEO and founder.
Westrick said the map is meant to answer questions about what kind of wind potential exists globally and will assist countries and organizations in evaluating potential wind resource at a regional level, potentially locating sites that are not currently obvious or known.
The map provides global wind data at an 80 m height over a 15 km area for a single year. Using the map, 3TIER determined that more than 40% of the world's land mass has wind speeds at more than 6 meters per second. Even though some of that land is not accessible for commercial development, the potential for future renewable projects is quite large.
3TIER said currently, less than one-tenth of 1% of the global land mass has been developed for large-scale wind projects.
"Communities in developing countries finally will have--at little or no cost--the information to help them decide whether renewable energy can power their communities. These maps will help leaders and developers throughout the world assess their renewable energy potential and make important policy and economic decisions as a result, " Westrick said.
Over the next 21 months, 3TIER said it plans to continue to map the world at 5 km, country by country, based upon a priority order that takes into account such issues as renewable energy policies, availability of the wind resource, and economic status.