Global online atlas for solar and wind power

16 January 2013

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  • Karte der direkten Sonneneinstrahlung (Kilowatt/Quadratmeter) in Nordafrika
    Map of direct solar radiation (kilowatts/square metre) in North Africa

    The Global Atlas provides databases and maps showing the worldwide potential of solar and wind power. This picture shows the map portal of the global atlas. On the left hand side various map levels can be selected. The annual global exposure to sunlight (solar radiation) in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region is shown in the centre. The annual total is shown in kilowatt hour per square metre. Other map levels can be added from a catalogue.

DLR coordinates development of the Internet platform

During its Annual General Meeting in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) made the world's first global atlas for renewable resources public. The atlas comprises databases and maps that are freely available on the Internet. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has contributed substantially to this development through its expertise in the modelling of energy systems, remote sensing technologies and the processing of geodata.

This Global Atlas is the largest initiative of its kind to date, and is intended to help countries and corporations to determine the potential for renewable resources worldwide. It brings together data and maps from leading technology institutions and private corporations. At this time, data relating to solar and wind power can accessed. Data relating to other kinds of renewable resources will follow in 2013 and 2014.

Powerful tool for the expansion of renewable energies

The Internet-based platform, which can be viewed at, is intended to raise awareness of the renewable resources available across the globe and to help those countries wishing to invest in their development. "In the next 10 years we expect a sharp rise in the investments in renewable energies. The Global Solar and Wind Atlas will help us make the right decisions," says Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Building, and President of the third session of the IRENA Assembly. The Global Atlas is also a powerful tool for the expansion of renewable energies in the eyes of Adan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA: "With 22 countries now taking part, and more expected to join in the coming months, it is a clear sign of our growing political will to transition to clean, renewable energy."

The open, flexible Internet portal was developed under the leadership of the Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment department of the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics in Stuttgart. Carsten Hoyer-Klick, the coordinator of the technical team said: "With our expertise in the modelling of energy systems, remote sensing technologies and the processing of geodata, we are ideally positioned to assist an international team of scientists from some of the world's leading institutions." The institutions involved in the development of this portal included the National Renewable Energy Lab (USA), Mines-ParisTech (France) and the Masdar Institute (United Arab Emirates).

Last modified:
18/01/2013 09:27:29



Dorothee Bürkle
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Media Relations, Energy and Transport Research

Tel.: +49 2203 601-3492

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
Carsten Hoyer-Klick
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment Department

Tel.: +49 711 6862-728

Fax: +49 711 6862-747