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DOE Launches Open-Source Site to Encourage Public Input, Make Research Accessible

As part of the effort to make the US Department of Energy’s resources more accessible to the public, the DOE has launched OpenEI.org. The site will make the DOE research and resources more widely available to the general public, government officials, national laboratories and green businesses. OpenEI is free and open-source, based on the wiki-platform. The site encourages public input as well and is aimed at increasing the deployment of renewable technologies into the economy. The site also fits into the Open Government Initiative.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other national laboratories worked closely with the DOE to generate the data for OpenEI. Currently, there are approximately 60 clean energy resources and data charts, including maps of solar and wind potential worldwide, among other things uploaded to the site. The NREL will continue to monitor and upload content. OpenEI also links to the Virtual Bridge to Energy (VIBE), a site that analyzes data and is a wonderful tool in helping to understand it.

The long-term goals of OpenEI include providing a virtual lab space for countries that lack such resources, as well as the future potential of online training and technical networks. Part of the hope in providing more resources like OpenEI (such as the National Assets Program) is to empower and motivate established and entrepreneurial businesses to go solar, and do so in an informed and confident manner. The site also hopes to provide services like training to bolster the understanding of renewable energy. However, the main purpose of OpenEI is to encourage folks of the world to get involved in the switch to it.

Hard to argue with this, isn’t it? Anyone that wants to be in the know now has access to the necessary information at their fingertips. Even the rogue maverick scientists will get a shot at their “Eureka!” It’s the beauty of the open-source world replacing traditionalism journalism - outright opportunity for the motivated. I like these kind of developments and am excited to see how the world responds and uses this new tool.

Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.com [sidebar]

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