World map of wind power and solar energy

The study carried out to prepare this map has been published in the journal Nature Scientific Scientific. The map shows the density of this type of infrastructure in different regions and the approximate energy production. This is the world’s first open-access dataset for wind and solar power generation facilities.

The estimated share of renewable energy in global electricity generation was over 26% at the end of 2018, and solar and wind power are by far the main drivers of the rapid increase in renewable energy. Despite this, until now, little was known about the geographic extent of wind and solar farms and there is very little accessible data.
Footprint of renewable energy in ecosystems

While it brings many environmental benefits, solar and wind power can also have adverse local effects on ecology and wildlife. The researchers hope that by accurately mapping the development of the parks, they can provide insight into the footprint of renewable energy in vulnerable ecosystems and help planners assess such effects.

The study authors used data from OpenStreetMap (OSM), an open access collaborative global mapping project. They extracted pooled data records labeled “solar” or “wind”, and then cross-referenced with selected national data sets to get a better estimate of energy capacity and create their own maps of the locations of solar and wind power.

The data shows the predominance of renewable energy in Europe, North America and East Asia, and the results are very well correlated with independent official statistics on the renewable capacity of the countries, according to the researchers.

The map has been designed so that it can be updated with the latest information at any time, and so that in the future it can serve as a resource for researchers.