Digital Maps

Digital maps are useful as they give a general overview of the wind resource, confidence of the data, and other data (land use, transmission lines, etc.), which can easily be displayed on the same maps. NREL has created a higher-resolution digital wind map for the United States and is in the process of updating the maps by state using terrain enhancement and geographic information systems (GIS).

A very useful interactive tool, windNavigator, based on GoogleMaps®, is a wind resource map and data for the continental United States [22]. The map (2.5 km resolution) provides wind speeds at 60, 80, and 100 m and a pointer to give minimum and maximum mean annual wind speeds on a

200 m scale. Selectable areas at 200 m resolution (PDF or GIS data set) can be purchased. Satellite, hybrid, and terrain views are available for the world.

A similar interactive wind resource map (map, satellite, hybrid, and terrain views) and data for the world, FirstLook, has wind speeds at 20, 50, and 80 m [23], and presently wind data for the United States, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico are online. With FullView Assessment, resolution is at 90 m. In addition, a solar resource map is available. Remember, wind speed maps are useful for an indication of wind energy, but wind power maps are the next step.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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