Wärtsilä has modelled 145 countries and regions to find the optimal way to produce electricity from 100% renewable energy sources. The map illustrates how the power system of each of these regions would look like if they were to be optimally built from scratch, not considering the burden of existing power plants.
Nicely done interactive map, and quite fun to explore.
The optimisations presented in this map were calculated using a proprietary tool, but carried out in collaboration between Wärtsilä and LUT University's solar research group under the direction of professor of solar economy Christian Breyer.
Not sure if the data itself is published anywhere. Don't know why several outlets label this map "open access". Interactive, yes, openly accessible on the web, yes, but by that measure most any website would count as "open access".
The optimal capacity and energy mix are defined using a power system optimisation tool Plexos, which is a commercially used software developed by Energy Exemplar. Technologies and their parameters (costs, efficiencies, technical lifetime etc.) and conditions of each region (renewable profiles, load profiles etc.) are given to the software, after which the optimisation algorithm calculates the mix of technologies which provide the lowest cost for each region, but can still manage to serve energy demand reliably every hour of the year. We have used representative region-specific renewable profiles. For reliability purposes the system in both scenarios has been designed to sustain up to three consecutive days of low renewable production.
It's interesting to see how the Wärtsilä PR department has clearly been spreading the word around. News of this Atlas via
News of the research agreement via