February 29, 2024

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Updated Interactive Maps for Renewable Energy Sites in the U.S.

The United State Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has developed an online map to help identify areas for clean energy infrastructure projects across the country. The Geospatial Energy Mapper (GEM) is a comprehensive, interactive online mapping tool that can assist in identifying areas across the country that are suitable for wind, solar and more.

The online map was first publicly launched in 2013 as the Energy Zones Mapping Tool (EZMT). Over the last ten years, GEM has been redesigned, rebranded, and re-engineered over time. GEM is hosted by the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory with funding from the DOE’s Office of Electricity.

“We implemented lessons acquired from hosting the EZMT for nearly 10 years in GEM, such as making it easier to learn and use, updating the software architecture, and selecting a name that reflects its current spectrum of usage,” said Jim Kuiper, principal geospatial engineer, and GEM technical coordinator.

GEM offers an extensive catalogue of mapping data, such as energy resources, infrastructure, and other information that might influence energy infrastructure siting decisions. With over 190 mapping layers — including demographics, boundaries, and utilities — users can locate areas for clean power generation, electric vehicle charging stations and more.

Choosing which renewable energy to build, whether solar, wind or thermal energy, is a huge decision with consequences that extend far beyond electricity generation. This new feature helps users quickly load multiple layers related to a specific technology or resource without manually browsing the mapping catalogue and adding individual layers to the map.

With GEMs modelling capabilities, users can generate a customised suitability map or ​”heat map.” This map shows which geographical areas in the United States are favourable for developing specific energy resources and infrastructures. GEM also provides preloaded models for over 40 different types of energy infrastructure. Land-based wind turbines or utility-scale photovoltaic solar are two examples, which provide a convenient starting point that users can easily customise.

“Choosing where to establish utility-scale renewable energy projects is a huge decision with consequences that extend far beyond the generation of electricity,” told Michael Levin, a GEM user and PhD student studying renewable energy landscapes at Columbia University. ​”GEM publishes energy suitability maps and allows users to customise the model used to create them.”

GEM has nearly 100 modelling criteria to choose from: population density, proximity to the nearest substation, slope, wildfire risk, and low-income household percentage are just a few examples. Nine types of energy resources can be analysed for clean energy resource development. Biomass, coal (with carbon capture and sequestration), geothermal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, storage, water, and wind are among them.

Australian National University (ANU) has made a similar endeavour. The university researchers created a new tool showing Australia’s most significant areas for fresh wind or solar farms. The ANU’s ‘heat maps’ study is aimed at farmers and landholders, who the researchers believe are vital in accelerating Australia’s solar and wind uptake and helping the country fulfil its renewable energy ambitions. The project’s goal is to give landowners the ability to approach developers directly and negotiate the construction of solar or wind farms on their property.

According to the researchers, the area in New South Wales between Goulburn and Lithgow is especially appropriate for new clean energy projects since it is well-served by transmission lines and has good wind and solar resources. New wind farms have a lot of promise in Tasmania, especially along the north coast and on the King and Flinders islands.

While in Victoria, the Yallourn district is appealing due to its high wind potential, robust existing transmission into Melbourne, and the need to replace local coal sector employment. West of Melbourne, there is also a lot of wind potential. South Australia offers good wind and solar potential east of St Vincent and Spencer gulfs. On the other hand, the best wind and solar locations in Queensland follow the coastal transmission lines north of Brisbane in areas such as Rockhampton and Mackay. Perth, too, has many excellent solar and wind sites near transmission lines that run north and south of the city.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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