The World Bank, in partnership with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched the Global Solar Atlas, a free, web-based tool to help investors and policymakers identify potential sites for solar power generation virtually anywhere in the world stated the World Bank. It will allow users to overlay additional data such as transmission lines and protected areas to identify possible zones or sites for solar development.
The tool is expected to allow for better project planning and development. The tool displays annual average solar power potential and has the capacity to zoom into areas in detail (with a spatial resolution of 1 km, or 0.6 of a mile). It can be used by investors and developers to access high resolution global and regional maps, as well as geographic information system (GIS) data.
“We hope that the Global Solar Atlas will help inform the crucial planning and investment decisions that will need to be taken over the next decade to shift to more sustainable forms of energy,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the World Bank’s Energy & Extractives Global Practice.
“This new tool will assist governments and investors to obtain an initial indication of solar resource potential before carrying out their own more detailed analysis,” said Piyush Goyal, Minister of State at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the Government of India. “I am grateful to the World Bank for providing this tool, and have no doubt it will be accessed regularly by many users,” added Mr. Goyal.
The Global Solar Atlas was funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank, and was commissioned in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to ensure relevance to both public and private sector stakeholders. It was developed by Solargis, a commercial provider of solar resource data.
To reduce the risks associated with higher margins of uncertainty, the World Bank, with funding from ESMAP, intends to install solar measurement stations in at least 20 developing countries over the next four years.
Mercom is forecasting 70 GW in global solar installations in 2017.