May 13, 2013

Sustainability scientist asks for public help in locating power plants

Posted: May 13, 2013

In a recent Nature news article, Sustainability Scientist Kevin Gurney discusses his team's work on mapping global power plants in hopes of improving the carbon mapping process.

Called "Ventus," the project uses a website and the Google Earth application that allows the public to input the locations of local power plants. Gurney's team received some initial data from the Global Energy Observatory and the Center for Global Development’s CARMA effort, but many gaps still remain across the world. Gurney says once they can pinpoint all known power plants, scientists can investigate the global carbon cycle further – how much goes in and how much is absorbed.

“It turns out that we know far less about fossil fuels than we thought we did,” says Gurney in the article. “We could use some help."

Kevin Gurney is an associate professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences. He also leads a team project called Hestia that measures carbon emissions on a building and street level.

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Natalie Muilenberg,
Global Institute of Sustainability