New IRENA app puts green data at your fingertips

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched a new smartphone app which gives the public direct access to up-to-date information on renewable energy potential worldwide.

Companies are turning to apps to make renewable energy and sustainability more accessible

Companies are turning to apps to make renewable energy and sustainability more accessible

The Global Atlas app, launched earlier this week, combines thousands of maps from 67 world governments and 50 data centres to present information on renewable energy sources across the globe. (Scroll down for video).

IRENA director-general Adanan Z. Amin said one of the major roadblocks to renewable energy deployment was mobilising investment, but this new app could bring greater accessibility and confidence to investors.

“The Global Atlas pocket helps bring more investment certainty to renewable energy prospectors and investors,” said Amin. “Users can freely access data from geothermal potentials in the Caribbean to solar potentials in the Middle East and anything in between. It is an incredibly powerful tool.”

Growing demand

The app comes with an array of search functions to allow users to scroll around a global map to explore the potential of different renewable energy systems on sites, presenting colour coded mapping to show the viability of the technology.

Jeffrey Harris, chairman of the board of the Open Geospatial Consortium - one of IRENA's partners for the new app - said: “Location communication is essential for all business enterprises and there is increasingly a demand for capable, mobile applications to further empower agile decisions across business and governments. Every energy asset and customer has location information that matters.”

Michael Mansour, head of apps and innovation at Microsoft Gulf - another project partner - added that such initiatives exhibited the potential of technology to bridge the information gap on sustainable development. “We are confident that it will help in encouraging initiatives on renewable energy around the world," he said. 

Video: IRENA Global Atlas app


Apps and other innovative technologies are fast becoming a way to engage the public and professionals in sustainability. Earlier this year, Ford launched its MyFord Mobile app which allowed Ford users to remotely check the range of electric cars and plan journeys using charging points.

Microsoft has also turned to gamification to raise awareness of global water issues. The 'One Drop of Life' app was recently launched to educate users on water-saving activities and achieved more than 100,000 downloads in just a few months.

Check out edie’s five ways social media is driving corporate social responsibility, and some of the apps being used to promote sustainability.

Matt Field


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