Renewable Energy Conversation with Sierra Club’s Carl Zichella

At Data Center Dynamics SF, I had a chance to meet Carl Zichella, Director of Western Renewable Program , CA, NV, HI.  Carl has been going to DCD for years, and here are a few of his comments in a video from past conferences.

Given Carl’s expertise I asked what resources he would point to research renewable energy. NREL was his first suggestion.


NREL has GIS data their team has published.

This site also provides access to our FTP site where you can download data and Geospatial Toolkits.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Geographic Information System (GIS) team analyzes wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and other energy resources and inputs the data into the GIS—Geographic Information System. Read more about NREL's GIS team and the map server that creates the dynamically generated maps.

There is a ppt to see what the data looks like.

For a quick snapshot of U.S. resource maps for various renewable energy technologies, access the Renewable Energy Technology Resource Maps for the United States (PowerPoint 6.7 MB) presentation on this Web site.


For Californians, you can check out California Energy Commission’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI).

Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI)

California has adopted energy policies that require substantial increases in the generation of electricity from renewable resources. Extensive improvements, however, are needed to California's electric transmission infrastructure to get the electricity generated by new renewable power facilities to consumers.

The Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) is a statewide initiative to help identify the transmission projects needed to accommodate these renewable energy goals, support future energy policy, and facilitate transmission corridor designation and transmission and generation siting and permitting. RETI will be an open and transparent collaborative process in which all interested parties are encouraged to participate.

RETI will assess all competitive renewable energy zones in California and possibly also in neighboring states that can provide significant electricity to California consumers by the year 2020. RETI also will identify those zones that can be developed in the most cost effective and environmentally benign manner and will prepare detailed transmission plans for those zones identified for development.

One specific question I asked Carl at the end is "Why do you attend DCD SF regularly?” Carl went on to explain that data centers and the associated high technology companies are the most innovative group he has encountered pushing for renewable energy.

We exchanged many other ideas, and I’ll have more to write about Carl Zichella and the Sierra Club’s efforts as renewable energy is an essential part of a green data center strategy.