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3TIER releases global solar dataset

A US-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting tools has completed a tool to identify and map the world’s wind and solar resources using a globally-consistent methodology.

3TIER® says its REmapping the World™ initiative was launched in March 2008 to address the lack of reliable information regarding renewable resource potential and availability, which it called the largest barrier to global renewable energy adoption.

The new solar map and dataset is based on 10-13 years of half-hourly, high-resolution visible satellite imagery collected from 9 different satellites, dispersed across the globe and covering the entire surface of the earth. Satellite imagery was processed using a uniform methodology based on a combination of in-house and peer-reviewed research documents supported by the global atmospheric science community.

“3TIER’s aim in developing these maps is to help accelerate the adoption of renewable energy around the world by providing a blueprint for development,” explains Kenneth Westrick, Founder of 3TIER. “The creation of these maps is part of a larger effort to build a renewable energy information services platform which will provide customers with on-demand access to 3TIER’s massive datasets for wind and solar resources.”

“Access to these critical data will enable global decision-makers and organisations to look at wind and solar potential on a regional scale and help maximise the value of renewable resources while mitigating the risks of their inherent variability,” he adds.

Dataset provides information on wind and solar

At a resolution which is up to 30 times higher than any other publicly-available data source, the solar map and dataset leverage several in-house improvements to provide:

  • Global coverage between 50°S and 60°N;
  • Spatial resolution of 2 arc-minutes (3 km);
  • Hourly values of GHI, DNI, and DIF extending back 13 years.

“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,” says Bart Nijssen of 3TIER.

Initiative includes 5 km resolution wind map

As part of its REmapping the World initiative, 3TIER also produced a 5 km resolution global wind map and dataset, based upon proven techniques and the application of advanced numerical weather prediction models, which consistently diagram wind spatial and temporal variability.

“This dataset provides the in-depth solar irradiance information essential to developers, financiers, and governments for targeting the best regions in the world for development,” explains Westrick. “Our solar resource technology provides the critical data to make renewable power a viable alternative and will be increasingly important in areas where solar data only exists at coarse resolution and inferior quality or is simply unavailable.”

Earlier this month, 3TIER released a new suite of global wind and solar prospecting tools which provide instant and unlimited access to seasonal variability data around the world. That tool enables renewable energy developers, financiers, and manufacturers to access information about any location and compare sites.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling  •  Wind power