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New tool can calculate renewable energy output anywhere in the world - 7th September

Wind Turbine

Researchers have created an interactive web tool to estimate the amount of energy that could be generated by wind or solar farms at any location.

The tool, called Renewables.ninja, aims to make the task of predicting renewable output easier for both academics and industry.

The creators, from Imperial College London and ETH Zürich, have already used it to estimate current Europe-wide solar and wind output, and companies such as the German electrical supplier RWE are using it to test their own models of output.

To test the model, Dr Iain Staffell, from the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial, and Dr Stefan Pfenninger, who is now at ETH Zürich, have used Renewables.ninja to estimate the productivity of all wind farms planned or under construction in Europe for the next 20 years. Their results are published in the journal Energy.

Renewables.ninja uses 30 years of observed and modelled weather data from organisations such as NASA to predict the wind speed likely to influence turbines and the sunlight likely to strike solar panels at any point on Earth during the year.

These figures are combined with manufacturer's specifications for wind turbines and solar panels to give an estimate of the power output that could be generated by a farm placed at any location. 

Read more here.

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