A Chronic Of Sustainability

Energy Data Visualized

by Fabian Dinklage


The climate change as a global phenomenon receives more and more resonance in media. The consequences of the individual developments of each country are diverse. This project takes a closer look to the data of sustainable energy.

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Industrial district of mexico city, satelite image © by Google Earth

Development vs. Sustainability


The visualization project provides insights to the current situation of sustainable energy consumption and make trends visible. The used datasets are provided by the Worldbank which is a component of the United Nations. The goal of the visualization is to redefine the term of sustainability and provide a closer look to draw a clearer picture about distinct individual realities of the countries.

What tendencies can be observed, on the individual dimension of countries? How is the society situated and which factors have the highest impact on the sustainability factor? In which way does the individual situation differ between the countries?

The visualization gets a closer look at the dataset reveals insights and proposes answers to these questions.


The energetic lifestyle


The following visualization depicts the the amount of energy consumed by people by country and their impact measured by population.

Switch between the years 1990 and 2009 to observe emerging trends.




SOURCE

Worldbank Open Data Catalog: Sustainable energy for all, GDP Ranking, Population Ranking, Land Area.





The energy lifestyle varies


The overall need for more energy rises. The lifestyle of the highest populated countries (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil ..) are still located at the lower end of the range of energy lifestyles and the diversity seems obvious.

The development of a country is strongly connected to their amount of energy, which is used. Also geological backgrounds play a big role on how generous a society spends their amount of energy. A great example for that are the scandinavian countries. Their production of sustainable energy is the highest in the ranking and they make use of all of that. Several factors inluence the situation of a country, but the mindset of a society and their politicians make a huge difference.

As for example Iceland is the worldwide largest electricity producer of renewable energy per year. About 85% of all houses are heated from geothermal energy because of over 600 hot springs and 200 volcanos, which are located in Iceland. Their small population and location on the globe make them unique.

The man-made blue lagoon in Iceland with the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi, © by Bilderschreiber

The law of conservation of energy states, that energy can not be created or destroyed. It rather can be transformed from one to anoteher state. Depending on the location, in the example of hot springs the energy can not be stored and transfered and is used on location. For example as a public bath which is sourced by the nearby geothermal powerplant for the benefit of the population. Regardless of the amount of consumed energy in total, the values about the relative amount of renewable energy produced by the countries reveal further insights about the sustainability.


Amount of renewable energy production (%)


The following charts display the relative amount of renewable energy, which is produced by the countries compared to their total energy production in a time span of 20 years.



Amount of renewable energy consumption (%)


The following charts display the relative amount of renewable energy, which is consumed by the countries compared to their total energy consumption in a time span of 20 years.



SOURCE

Worldbank Open Data Catalog: Sustainable energy for all, GDP Ranking, Population Ranking, Land Area.





Multiple realities of sustainability


The most of the industrial shaped nations are struggling with political agendas to change their ecological footprint because global industries are dependent on a constant high amount of energy. Reasons for outlaws like the scandinavian countries are obvious. A smaller population and geological circumstances result in overproduction of so called green energy.



Access to electricity (%)


This chart contains data about the relative amount of the population which has access to electricity and compare the in a time span of 20 years.



SOURCE

Worldbank Open Data Catalog: Sustainable energy for all, GDP Ranking, Population Ranking, Land Area.



Conclusion and further thoughts


The dataset provided by the world bank contains many more dimensions of sustainability, which may be considered to evaluate a more consistent picture of the of the development in the specific field. For further development I would put more focus on the connectedness of the visualizations to deliver a fluid experience. With the gained insights during the process of the project I would like to implement more analytical task options for the user to answer occuring questions about specific datasets and provide a more opportunities of data exploration.

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