It’s not news that renewable energy is on the rise. Twenty-two percent of global electricity generated in 2013 came from renewable energy sources, and that is expected to increase by 26 percent through 2020.1 But what may be news to many is the role GIS technology has played in the renewable energy movement. Here are 5 examples of how GIS is used for renewable energy.
How GIS is Used to Map Renewable Energy Resources
Imagine taking a road trip and as you’re driving, you come across wind turbine after wind turbine. There’s dozens of them on either side of you as you’re driving past fields and farm land. Why are they there? And how was it decided that wind turbines should be placed there? Chances are GIS technology helped project planners make this decision.
With a global focus on climate change, there is a significant need for renewable energy sources like solar, wind, water, and thermal energy. As great as renewable energy is, it can’t be used everywhere.
The question is, why not?
We’ve all seen, heard about, and even felt the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria. Millions of people have lost their homes, don’t have access to electricity and water, and are in desperate need of relief efforts and emergency aid. For businesses, these natural disasters have impacted supply chain processes, transportation of goods, and the ability to restock products swiftly to keep up with demand.
Despite these challenges though, GIS technology is making it easier for companies to prepare for impending storms. For example, Home Depot’s supply chain and merchandising teams worked around-the-clock to restock stores and transport goods in preparation of Hurricane Irma. GIS technology allowed brands like Home Depot to monitor stores, ramp up and activate the best distribution centers, and determine the best routes to get supplies in and out.