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Effective, environmentally sound development, production, and delivery of energy depend on Earth monitoring information. Satellite remote sensing data and products provide unique, objective information that has the additional advantage of yielding global, homogeneous, and repetitive coverage. Satellite remote sensing data and products have been used extensively in parts of the energy sector for applications ranging from climatology to identification of solar and wind energy sources, yet there is significant potential to expand energy applications. This paper discusses the key energy sector organizations and decision-support tools with the greatest potential to benefit from new applications of satellite remote sensing data, identifies relevant remote sensing data and products with a focus on NASA Earth science resources, and provides examples that show the added value of the Earth observations. These examples come from the application of NASA data to solar energy information needs. Although continued work for support of solar energy is warranted, this paper focuses on areas identified with the greatest demonstrated potential for new or expanded applications: renewable energy (specifically wind, biomass, and hydroelectric resources), load forecasting, and long-term energy modeling. This study also addresses the evolving context of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), and the broader framework of integrating satellite remote sensing into energy sector decision-support tools.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:1 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 2008