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Visualizations commonly used in the renewable energy space

Authors: Nicholas Gilroy*, NREL
Topics: Energy, Environmental Science, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: visualization, geospatial, renewable, energy
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Visualization is commonly used in the renewable energy space, not only by analysts, but also for communication to policymakers, city planners, and the general public. The scope and style of these visualizations vary based on the data and end goals. For the Geospatial Data Science group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we work on many techno-economic studies, such as investigating where to put new wind farms or the cost of adding new batteries to the power grid. In these cases, visualizations tend to be map-based and deployed as web or desktop applications and on large scale 2D displays. While the types and data and targeted audience within this space is broad, there are some overarching themes including the relationship between cost, energy capacity, and economic and regulatory policy. These themes make both the science and visualization more complicated, forcing simulations to integrate energy engineering with policy and economics and to visualize multitudes of scenarios simultaneously. In this paper, I will give a primer to the varied types of energy technologies within this space as well as common visualization strategies for these types.

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