While the world is eager for more renewable energy, a lot of planning has to happen before we can erect turbines or install solar cells at any large scale. This used to require months of extensive study by expert researchers, but a new collaboration between UC Santa Barbara and the World Bank empowers stakeholders themselves to conduct this analysis for any country in the world.
The REZoning(link is external) web tool — short for Renewable Energy Zoning — conducts geographic and economic analyses based on users’ preferences within minutes, with no technical knowledge required. “It helps people figure out where to build future wind and solar powerplants using the criteria that are most important to them,” said technical co-lead Grace Wu(link is external), an assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Department at UCSB. The software product enables stakeholders to replicate analyses on the fly that used to take specialists months to complete. Within minutes REZoning can create maps, figures and myriad downloadable geospatial outputs.