Innovative energy data platform launched in America
- 07 May 2013
NEW YORK: A new open data platform which will make better use of available data to accelerate America's transition to a clean energy future, was launched in New York last week.
As part of the Energy Data Initiative, the US Department of Energy (DOE), its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Planetary Skin Institute, recently released the tool to better visualize energy data and make it more available and useful for state and local governments, private industry and other energy researchers.
The Free Energy Data platform (known as FRED) is an Internet-based program that builds on the broader Energy Data Initiative. It makes energy usage and generation data more transparent, which will help accelerate the transition to a cleaner energy economy.
FRED serves as a platform to help American energy planners improve their capacity to benchmark, forecast and assess their own energy data based on information inputted by the US Energy Information Administration, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Solar Energy Industries Association. It offers a common format for diverse inputs, allowing users to adjust their focus from global to county-level scales, allowing the program to grow with time.
FRED also allows users to enter their own data and compare their performance with other jurisdictions and institutions, or track performance over time. Data can be viewed in graphical formats showing present and past energy demand by fuel and sector and compared across jurisdictions, as well as through flow diagrams that visualize how multiple sectors use different energy sources.
Although currently limited to the US energy market, FRED does incorporate the DOE’s open data principles, allowing for inclusion of International Energy Association data. In the future, once this data is added in, FRED will have the potential to rapidly become a vital work tool for the global network of energy planners.
Wes Frye, Chief Energy Officer, Planetary Skin Institute, said: "FRED helps to de-mystify the complex activity of energy planning --- enabling a more productive, open and transparent dialog between policy-makers, the general public, energy scientists, corporations and everyone in-between. At its heart, FRED takes huge, complex energy datasets and distils them down into simple, easy-to-digest information that's useful and understandable by both energy professionals and non-professionals alike. In this way, we believe FRED can help foster the necessary discussion and decisions to accelerate our path towards a more sustainable energy future."
Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, said: “The FRED program is a very practical tool: it will assist a wide range of professionals, from energy researchers to policy-makers, in addition to the general public, to help them better visualize energy data. By making this information more readily available and useful at both the state and the local level, be it within the public or the private sector, The Climate Group views FRED as a vital instrument for facilitating the energy debates that will showcase the economic opportunities of a clean revolution.”
Read our report: An American Clean Revolution