With rising energy costs and a search for more environmentally friendly energy sources, wind power has become a bit of a favourite. Wind power maps are an essential part in determining prime locations for potential wind turbine sites. Below is an incomplete listing of available wind maps. Access to data layers is spotty and difficult to find.World: A world map showing wind resources is available in jpg format
. The data is from 1980 and is based primarily on meteorological data. Good for a quick, very general picture of the world.WindAtlas.dk
has a listing of numerous wind atlases, some of which can be requested through e-mail.
Most of the countries listed are European; others include the United States, Australia, Egypt and South Africa.Winddata.com
has a listing of maps for about 25 countries from around the globe. The quality of the maps vary; some are in pdf format, others are simple and small jpgs. Some of them are hosted on the site; most are links to other sites.Brazil: AWS Truewind has a map
of wind speed at 50 m available on its site. Map is in pdf format.Canada:
The Canadian Wind Energy Atlas
is an interactive atlas where users can select heights and click on an image to get a more detailed map. Radio buttons allow the user to display mean wind speed, mean wind energy, and topography. Clicking on a location in the map brings up a wind rose and wind compass for that specific location. Tiled spatial data can also be downloaded in MID/MIF or RPN formats.
Ontario has a large number of pdf maps at various scales, displaying wind speeds and wind powers at various heights, along with transmissions lines. Maps are available in pdf format
. Also available is an interactive wind power atlas
. Winddata.com also has a map of British Columbia
in pdf format on its site.Ireland: AWS Truewind has a number of publicly available maps on its site.
Maps are in pdf format and show wind speed and power at 50 m, 75 m and 100 m heights, as well as roads and transmission lines.Mexico:
AWS Truewind has wind speed and wind power maps at 50 m for the state of Oaxaca
available on its site. Other state maps are available at the Mexico Renewable Energy Program
site. All of the Mexican maps vary greatly in quality and resolution.Southeast Asia:
The Asia Alternative Energy Program produced a Wind Energy Resource Atlas
that is available in pdf or html format. The maps themselves are only available in pdf format.Sri Lanka:
AWS Truewind has wind speed and wind power maps at 50 m on its site
. Includes a road network.United States:
The Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States
was published by the National Renewable Energy Lab in 1986 and is available online, complete with maps. The maps are a bit small and unspectacular.The U.S. Department of Energy also covers the entire country
but has links to individual state maps. Not all of the states have maps; most of the southeastern states lack maps. Maps are for wind power at 50 m, classed into 7 categories. Also included are transmission lines and indian reservations. Maps are available in jpg and pdf formats. Spatial data is available
for download in shapefile format. AWS Truewind has similar coverage for the United States.Windpowermaps.org
focuses on the northwestern states and includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Maps in jpg format
of wind power and speed at 50 m and wind power at 50 m. Wind power classed in to 7 categories and wind speed classed in to 12 categories. Jpgs are of a high enough resolution to read and print. Selected county maps
are also available. An interactive map
of the western part of the United States displays not only wind power potential but also biomass, solar power and geothermal power potential. The interactive map is searchable by location but the legend and metadata links don’t work in Firefox. This site
also has pdf versions of renewable energy atlases of Washington and Idaho.