Renewable Energy (RE) Data Explorer
The RE Explorer platform, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provides renewable energy data, analytical tools, and technical assistance to developers, policymakers, and decision makers in developing countries. From the platform, users can also access guides, fact sheets, training videos and most importantly, the RE Data Explorer tool.
RE Data Explorer is a free, user-friendly geospatial analysis tool that performs visualization and analysis of renewable energy potential that can be customized for different scenarios. RE Data Explorer can support prospecting, integrated energy planning, policymaking, and other decision-making activities to accelerate renewable energy deployment. Within RE Data Explorer, there are also two distinct analysis tools with specific customizations in addition to RE Data Explorer's basic functionality.
Inputs and Outputs:
Users select a region or country of interest from the map of available datasets on RE Data Explorer and then select different layers of spatial data to visualize. Data layers include wind and solar resources, transportation networks, infrastructure, transmission lines, land use, and elevation data. The Cost of Energy Mapping Tool allows users to examine the LCOE for wind and solar based on user-defined inputs (or default data) that include technical potential scenarios, capital costs, fixed operations and maintenance costs, debt fraction, discount rate, and project lifetime among other optional inputs.
To view specific values for data layers, users can click on points on the map within their country of interest or perform a query for a custom shape drawn on the map. Users can analyze power generation, nameplate capacity, and suitable land area by resource and location with the Technical Potential Tool with inputs on generation technology types, assumed power density, slope constraints, land-use restrictions, and proximity to infrastructure.
Users may download and print results and map outputs from the tool.
Only publicly available data is pre-loaded in the RE Data Explorer; therefore, users may be limited by the available data layers and data resolution for each individual country.
Accessing the tool and additional information:
Users can access the RE Explorer and guided tutorials at re-explorer.org. The RE Explorer was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with funding from USAID.
Senior Energy Advisor
jfoster [at] usaid [dot] gov
U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
sadie.cox [at] nrel [dot] gov