The fact that the rise of alternative energy and the rise of Google Earth are happening at the same time has led to some amazing Google Earth visualizations of potential alternative energy use, particular with solar power. We’ve seen a 3D rendering of the solar panels at the Googleplex and the US Solar Jobs Map, which shows the potential for hundreds of thousands of new solar-related jobs in the next few years.
We also showed you the Berlin Solar Atlas Project, which allows you to view the “solar potential” for over 14,000 roofs in the city. Today’s story is very similar, but on a much wider (though less detailed) scale.
Coming from the University of California – San Diego is the “California Solar Irradiance Map“, which shows the entire state of California and the amount of energy a horizontally oriented solar panel could expect to receive over the course of a year.
Beyond the overview map that you see above, you can zoom down and get specific data for thousands of individual points on the map, the most important of which is likely the “monthly mean irradiation” that shows how much energy could be generated at different times of the year.
To try it for yourself, download their KMZ file. To see the individual placemarks, be sure to turn on the “Placemark Data” folder inside of the KMZ.
(via Clean Technica)
About Mickey Mellen
Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.
Craig Stanton says
If you like that (and live in New Zealand) you might like something the company I work for put out a little while ago. SolarView draws a diagram of the horizon around a point you specify using Google Maps, and then overlays the path of the sun at certain times of the year along with figures of how much energy you could theoretically collect from it. You can also enter the angle your panels are pointed at to match your roof angle. It also takes into account predicted atmospheric conditions (not day to day weather patterns but general air quality).
If you’re interested in a more global solar insolation picture –
This is a fixed version of the one at http://sites.google.com/a/theclimateproject.org/google-earth-internship/
Suzee Solar says
This was a very helpful article, and I believe that solar energy is going to be the future for homeowners and business owners. Thanks for sharing this information.
i doubt it will be the future for homeowners… at least not for about 10-20 years, until the salaries will grow up a little, because an average guy, with an average salary can’t afford such technology
sonali kanungo says
The world is so big.
Build Wind Turbine says
This is a better chance that we can view the whole view of the city where the solar panel is located. The solar view let you determine how long the capacity of the solar panel is. You can put the roof angle of the panels in your roof to catch accurately the heat of the sun.
Solar Panels says
I strongly believe solar power will be the future and everyone will have it in approx 10 or so years. hopefully sooner as the world needs us to stop using its resources!
Solar pv southwest says
This looks like an excellent tool. Now the only part missing is getting the people involve in shifting to solar energy.
This was such a good read! My husband and I have began looking into solar companies in California, realizing how important it’s becoming.