This project enabled us to develop a wealth of information about specific policies and actions required to decarbonize the building, transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors in the next decade and beyond, not only in Washington, but across the Northwest.
The Clean Energy Transition Institute facilitated the technical advisory process, design, and production of the Washington State 2021 Energy Strategy from March to December with the following consultants:
Aditi Bansal, Policy and Research Analyst
Marc Daudon, Senior Fellow
Nicole Larson, Research Assistant
David Paolella, Policy and Research Analyst
Eileen V. Quigley, Executive Director
Jeremy Hargreaves, Principal
Roel Hammerschlag, Principal
Betony Jones, Founder
Karen Beck, Partner
Carol Maglitta, Partner
Derik Broekhoff, Senior Scientist
Michael Lazarus, U.S. Center Director
Poppy Storm, Founder and Director of Innovation
The Institute’s Northwest Clean Energy Atlas project aims to use Tableau’s data visualization software to create an interactive atlas exploring energy data relevant to deep decarbonization in the Northwest. The challenges facing a rapid energy transition are complex and constantly evolving. Having access to detailed, up-to-date, and transparent energy system data is critical for policymakers, businesses, advocates, and the public to make informed decisions and track the progress of the clean energy transition.
The Northwest Clean Energy Atlas would be built on Tableau’s platform of data analysis, mapping, and dashboarding tools. Users of the Atlas would be able to click through visualizations covering various energy data, compare metrics across time and geography, and interact with the visualizations to focus in on areas of interest for further analysis.
For example, the Oregon Solar Dashboard, developed and published by the Oregon Department of Energy, allows users to explore information about solar energy generation in Oregon, including system size, location, cost, and ownership. Using Tableau’s Story function, the atlas could also include specific deep dive analyses that present a sequence of visualizations that work together to convey key trends in a narrative form.
Modeling demonstrates that the lowest-cost pathway for deep decarbonization in the Northwest involves coordination and cooperation among all states in the region. At present, tracking and comparing how states produce, purchase, and use energy requires assembling data from a variety of resources that have differing levels of detail, accessibility, and transparency.
For example, in its 2020 Biennial Energy Report, the Oregon Department of Energy has produced a series of interactive dashboards that track and visualize data it has compiled from state regulatory programs, federal government data repositories, and other resources. In Washington, multiple state agencies collect data relevant to the clean energy transition, but there is no central location where energy data visualized, analyzed, and available for download. The Clean Energy Atlas for the Northwest could serve as a source of aggregated data and insights and drive more regionally focused energy system planning and analysis.
The first phase of the project will include conducting a full survey of existing publicly available data relevant to the clean energy transition in Washington. We will also consult with decisionmakers, business leaders, researchers, and other key stakeholders in the region on the types of energy data that would be most helpful to track and visualize in the atlas. This feedback could be gathered through a series of interviews or by assembling a more formal technical review committee.
The second phase of the project will focus on growing the coverage of the Atlas beyond Washington to include the broader Northwest region. Developing more comprehensive energy data visualization and analysis for Washington and comparing that with existing resources from the Oregon Department of Energy will demonstrate the potential value of a region-wide energy data visualization repository. In Phase 2, we will explore opportunities to create and gather new energy data sets covering Idaho and Montana and pursuing data consistency across the region.
The Northwest Clean Energy Atlas project displays an interactive atlas of key energy data for the four states of the Northwest, which becomes a useful resource for stakeholders working to decarbonize the region.