23 January 2008

Energy & GoogleEarth

There's a group of researchers, composing the New Mexico Consortium, trying to put energy knowledge into the public's hands. They are collecting data on all types of energy sources (coal, gasoline, nuclear, oil, wind, solar, geothermal) from public sources and making them into files that can be downloaded and opened in GoogleEarth. Their idea is to put knowledge in the hands of the public so that people can participate in making energy decisions. It allows the public to both download and submit data. For example you could submit your power bill and your power station location and then it could tell you how much of your energy was derived from each of those sources and how much of various waste products it would cost.

This group is both interested in conserving energy and in making it available for all. Currently 3 billion people, almost half the world's population, does not have access to modern energy sources. They don't have lights, or refrigerators, televisions or computers. Imagine that... just for a second.


  1. this is the kind of consortium that makes me believe in humanity.

  2. Wayfarer, this sounds great. I makes me think of something that has been going on in our household for the last five weeks. We thought we were with a 'green' energy company,ie planting trees to offset the energy our household uses, or something like that.
    Another company rang and said no, the one we were with is not green. So, I agreed to go with the second company. In the same week another company rang and said they were the greenest so another household member signed up. Then, the original company came to our door and said the other two companies were misleading us. So we went back to them.
    (Okay, we are a salesman's dream of a gullible household, but we mean well...)

    Now all three companies are on our backs. Maybe one of these days the power will go off because nobody has us on their books!

    If your consortium was in operation we could have just gone to their site and worked out which company is actually telling the truth!
    Knowledge is power. (To accidentally make a pun.)

  3. jen, me too...

    parlance, I like the pun :) I don't know yet how far they've gotten on the Australian side yet but go check it out! It's meant to be a global thing so it may already have the data available to help you find out the truth. And I'm more then happy to help you out if need be. If they don't have the Australian data all up yet I suggest you ask for fact sheets from each company on which percentages of their power comes from where. You can then still use the consortiums website to then determine the amount of waste and pollution that would be generated from each. I think this would be a clearer way to tell which one is green then whether or not they are planting trees.

  4. Thanks for the info. I will sit down with the respective companies' information one of these days and try to work out who is the most honest. Actually, it just occurred to me that we have an online consumers' organisation that may have studied it...


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