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Mapping Australia's renewable energy

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Energy

Map of Australia

A example map from the new Renewable Energy Atlas

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Ever wondered where the sunniest parts of Australia are? Or the windiest?

Well, thanks to a new interactive map of Australia released by the Federal Government, you can now see the renewable energy hot spots around the country.

Called the Renewable Energy Atlas, the interactive map allows users to search for wind, solar, ocean, geothermal and biological energy sources.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett launched the atlas at the site of the new solar 'big dish' at the Australian National University on Friday.

Garrett said the atlas would be a fantastic and invaluable tool for industry, governments and the community as Australia explored solutions to climate change.

"[The atlas] will be used by planners and investors to expand and develop renewable industries in Australia,
and will help build community awareness of the enormous potential for growth in this area."

"Wind speeds, wave and tidal information, ocean currents, biomass and hot ground water data are
all charted in this excellent resource. Other information such as contours, roads, towns, electricity
transmission lines and climatic factors gives data better context.

The atlas is in its first stage, but will be developed further, Garrett said.

"It is an important step in making renewable energy a more viable and practical choice for the future," he said.

Data from the map is drawn from government agencies, such as the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology and from private industry.

Funded under the Australian Government's Low Emissions Technology and Abatement Program, the
Renewable Energy Atlas will continue to be developed, he said.

It will support the Australian Government's renewable energy target that of at least 20 per cent of Australia's electricity coming from renewable energy by 2020.

"This map is a fantastic resource that will assist both the industry for locating projects and communities seeking to make the most of zero-emission, natural energy sources in their area," said Matthew Warren, CEO of the Clean Energy Council.

Australia has some of the world's best and most diverse clean energy reserves, giving it real potential to become a global clean energy silicon valley, he said.

"The clean energy industry is ready to commit billions of dollars of new investment into regional communities, we are just waiting for the federal government to flick the switch."