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What Is Energy Data?

Energy data provides information about energy generation, distribution, and consumption. It encompasses oil, gas, electrical, nuclear, and renewable sources of energy.

Domestic meter readings, satellite imagery of power grids, and more provide energy data. You can buy data to track trends in the industry. Such trends include the increased use of bio-fuels and green vehicles, or forecasts of power outages and surges.

Where Does Energy Data Come From?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what information the data provides. Solar farm data, for example, comes from solar radiation measurements and histories of photovoltaic output statistics. Domestic energy data can be collected by recording household meter readings and supplier bills.

Governments and intergovernmental agencies may also restrict the collection of certain types of this data.

What Types of Columns/Attributes Should I Expect When Working With This Data?

Attributes of this data category include:

  • Source of energy (e.g. electrical, gas, oil, nuclear, renewable)
  • Solar potential
  • Building efficiency
  • Electricity transmission
  • Frequency of power outages
  • Payments taken for mineral resources

What is Energy Data Used For?

Both private and public organizations use this data to ensure their consumption is as efficient as possible. Governments also use it to incentivize responsible energy usage by bench-marking one organization’s consumption against another. They may also use it to digitize a country’s electric grid.

Energy data is crucial in planning the construction of power stations and of wind and solar farms where land and climate conditions must be carefully considered.

Private renewable energy companies also use oil and gas company data to ensure that their sustainable alternatives can meet public demand.

How Should I Test the Quality of This Data?

First, you should ascertain where the data vendor got the data from. For example, only companies working in EU countries, the UK, Canada, and Norway are legally required to disclose all extractive industry payments, so their data is more complete.

Even data collected from public records is subject to the data vendor’s analysis, so the reliability of the vendor should also be assessed. To best determine this, consider how many external factors the vendors take into account in their analyses and how long ago the data was updated.

It should be noted that energy data from developing countries which undergo rapid changes in this sector more likely to be inaccurate than data from developed countries—unless the information was collected very recently.

What Are the Most Important Factors I Should Vet When Selecting This Data?

You must first check the sources of energy your data covers and its latest update. Ideally, you would also clarify the levels of subdivision within the data set. Secondly, you need to know aspects of law related to energy data collection: The disclosure laws in the country where the data has come from and the level of subscription or license type needed to implement the data into your own business. In addition, you should make sure you have the technology required to collect the data you are looking for. You can learn more from organizations and businesses that use this data.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

US Department of Energy: Data Blog
Our World in Data: Renewable Energy

Tangible Examples of Impact

The Godia Museum in Barcelona needs large amounts of power to “maintain optimal conditions for conserving its works of art.” With an annual consumption rate of 589.999 kWh, costs were about €85.000. By investing in energy efficiency, the museum was able to reduce consumption by 35%—and costs by €25.000 annually.
Dexma: 2 Successful Case Studies in the Energy Management industry

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