Cleanweb development, or the use of IT tools to help us consume less energy and reduce carbon emissions, is really taking off. There have been several hackathons and this year saw the first government-sponsored contest to help spur the development of apps and web tools for this purpose and now developers have a great new resource for building these apps.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released its first Application Programming Interface (API) that gives developers access to a huge amount of data about U.S. electricity.
From the EIA's press release:
The free API will give developers access to data on electricity generation, retail sales, and average prices, and the types of fuel that are used to generate electricity at the state and national levels. Electricity generation and fuel consumption data for individual power plants with more than 1 megawatt of capacity also are available. These data are structured into a hierarchical set of 39,000 categories, grouping related series and assisting in the exploration of EIA's data.
"EIA's API will enable independent developers to create innovative information technology applications that can be used to improve energy decision-making. The value of EIA's data will be enhanced even further when it is combined with data beyond what the agency collects, such as market or environmental data," said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.
Geographical data (like longitude and latitude of electricity plants) will allow advanced mapping applications.
This big release coincided with Monday's "Energy Datapalooza" hosted by the Department of Energy, which brought together software developers and energy industry professionals to celebrate new products, services, and apps that "are advancing a secure, clean energy future—all built with freely available data from the government and other sources."
The free API key is available at www.eia.gov/developer.