Southface’s initiative, GeorgiaEnergyData.org, compiles information about Georgia’s energy landscape and makes it easily accessible to the public using interactive maps, graphs and tables.
Southface initiated the Georgia Energy Data project to clarify information about the various energy resources available in Georgia. Existing information sources did not include comprehensive details regarding Georgia’s renewable-energy infrastructure, total energy consumption and electricity production. As a result, policymakers, industry leaders and consumers could not fully understand the state’s energy landscape and Georgia’s potential for clean energy.
Southface’s Senior Policy Fellow John Sibley said, “The site’s Georgia Solar Map shows that with solar, Georgia has the ability to manufacture cells in-state, use local installers, put more Georgians to work, and rely on the free and plentiful sunlight that shines on Georgia every day.”
Because Georgia does not have any coal deposits, natural gas production (aside from biogas) or uranium, these fuels must be imported into the state, costing billions of dollars each year. Southface Project Manager Shan Arora notes that, “Increasing our solar electric capacity will further diversify the state’s energy resources and allow Georgia to quickly react to market changes that push us to rely more heavily on our renewable assets.”
GeorgiaEnergyData.org shows that solar has grown rapidly in Georgia. Cumulative solar capacity doubled between 2010 and 2011 and grew another 65 percent between 2011 and 2012. While this growth is impressive, the state’s 22 MW of solar electric capacity is expected to surpass 300 MW by 2016.
The site’s Georgia Electricity Production Map shows details of all the state’s power plants, dams, windmills and solar installations. “GeorgiaEnergyData.org provides information that you won’t see anywhere else,” Sibley said. “Who knew that electricity production using coal fell below both natural gas and nuclear in Georgia at the end of 2012 and accounted for only 23% to total generation in December? Now this information is at our fingertips.”
GeorgiaEnergyData.org went live March 13 and will be enhanced as new information is made available. Southface plans to add new data sets and expand the website’s functionality based on user feedback.
GeorgiaEnergyData.org has been made possible through a grant from the Kendeda Fund and has been developed in partnership between Southface and Georgia State University’s Geospatial Laboratory.
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