There’s a vast store of energy resources waiting to be tapped in the US, and it’s not gas, solar or uranium.
The motherlode, according to the White House and the US Department of Energy, lies in energy data. Public and private information about energy production, consumption and losses could help drive the development of new, innovative tools for conservation and cost savings, officials say. That’s why the Obama Administration is launching the Energy Data Initiative (EDI).
“Standardizing and liberating energy data empowers consumers and businesses and spurs innovation,” writes US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. “As similar efforts in health and public safety have demonstrated, data from various government and non-government sources can literally fuel new companies, new products, and new features that can improve Americans’ lives.”
The EDI commits the administration to release additional data resources in computer-readable form. As part of the initiative, officials are also encouraging private-sector organizations to “voluntarily give consumers secure access to their own energy use data.”
The same open-data approach can also help individuals, businesses, cities and government agencies better prepare for the impacts of climate change. For that reason, the White House has also launched a Climate Data Initiative that encourages the free sharing of climate-relevant data.
That initiative includes the launch of climate.data.gov, a new climate-focused section of the federal government’s Data.gov open-data platform.