Microsoft is working with Planet Labs and The Nature Conservancy to develop the Global Renewables Watch (GRW), a digital atlas that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite imagery to map and measure renewable energy.

The three companies plan to update the atlas twice a year to enable countries to access information on their renewable energy capacity and support their use. Users can assess the global transition to clean energy by tracking utility-scale solar and wind power installations around the globe.

“The world needs access to data to make responsible environmental decisions and GRW understands human progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7. It serves as a critical tool for and secures access to,” said Juan Lavista Ferres, vice president and chief data scientist at Microsoft.

By combining Microsoft’s AI with high-resolution satellite imagery provided by Planet Labs, GRW aims to provide data currently limited by private organizations.

Planet Labs co-founder and CEO Will Marshall said: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so we want to build a powerful platform by combining Microsoft’s AI and cloud computing capabilities, Planet’s comprehensive, high-resolution satellite imagery, and The Nature Conservancy’s deep subject matter expertise.” We believe in: uncovering and democratizing access to renewable energy data.”

Atlas’ first global inventory is expected to be completed by early 2023, and the findings will be available at www.globalrenewableswatch.org.

Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, said: “The Global Renewables Watch is exactly the action we must see. It will be a publicly accessible resource that will enable us to expand our existing renewable energy resources.”


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