Researchers from Imperial College London and ETH Zurich have teamed together to create an interactive tool that shows users an area's renewable energy potential. measures solar and wind output of any given area in the world. The model has already been used across Europe to estimate the productivity of all wind farms planned or under construction right now. uses 30 years of observed and modelled weather data from organisations such as NASA to predict the wind speed likely to influence turbines and the sunlight likely to strike solar panels at any point on the Earth during the year.

These figures are combined with manufacturer's specifications for wind turbines and to give an estimate of the power output that could be generated by a farm placed at any location.

Dr Staffell said he spent two years crunching the data for his own research and thought that creating this tool would make it quicker for others to answer important questions: "Modelling and solar power is very difficult because they depend on complex weather systems. Getting data, building a model and checking that it works well takes a lot of time and effort.

"If every researcher has to create their own model when they start to investigate a question about renewable energy, a lot of time is wasted. So we built our models so they can be easily used by other researchers online, allowing them to answer their questions faster, and hopefully to start asking new ones."

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