NOAA Energy Related Programs and Resources

Arctic Regional Climatology
The Arctic Ocean is an area of intense activity both for environmental and commercial interests. Climate change has disproportionally affected this region with rising ocean temperatures and continued loss of summer sea ice extent. Oil and mineral exploration and exploitation are occurring and intensifying. To facilitate study of the region the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) presents a new set of high-resolution long-term mean surface/subsurface temperature and salinity fields. These mean fields incorporate a great deal of data not previously available.

Climate Portal Prototype – Energy and Climate Overview
Portal to NOAA resources related to energy and climate.

Digital Coast: Energy In Action Stories
The Digital Coast provides tools, training, and information needed to turn data into the information most needed by coastal resource management professionals. Energy related examples help provide context for how NOAA data and tools are being used in offshore energy (search "energy" once on the site).

Environmental Consultations on Energy Projects
NOAA plays an important role in the siting and environmentally-sound operation of ocean energy projects. NOAA provides science-based information, conservation recommendations, and project alternative recommendations to ensure the long-term sustainability of marine resources and associated habitats. Authorities include:

NOAA also works closely with coastal states and manages federal consistency related appeals under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

In addition, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service plays a consultation role in a number of renewable energy related activities. More information is available at:

Marine Cadastre
This integrated marine information system provides authoritative information that can be used to assess suitability for ocean uses, such as energy siting.

NCCOS Biogeographic Assessment of Seabirds, Deep Sea Coral and Ocean Habitats of the New York Bight: Science to Support Offshore Spatial Planning
This product provides New York State with ecological information which will support plans to balance ocean uses and environmental conservation. This report is also being used by other coastal states for framing their approaches to Offshore Spatial Planning.

NOAA Energy Program
The NOAA Energy Program seeks to meet federally mandated conservation goals, improve energy and water efficiency in all areas of NOAA operations, and to minimize facility's energy and water costs. The Program is located in the Safety and Environmental Compliance Office.

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas – Digital Data Discovery
Based on traditional atlases, the Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas website is a data discovery and access tool that allows users to browse a growing collection of datasets, visualized geospatially as map plates. The Atlas provides updated, long-term assessments of Gulf of Mexico ecosystems that indicate baseline conditions and assist restoration and monitoring efforts in the Gulf. The Gulf Atlas is a result of collaborations between over 30 federal, state, non-governmental, and academic partners who provide data and expertise. All geospatial data is accompanied by FGDC and ISO standard metadata. Download links to the original data are also provided, allowing users to create their own products and analyses, and the ArcGIS Server supplies WMS, REST API, and KML formats, enabling use of the map layers in other platforms. These capabilities support federal agency goals as outlined in the FGDC’s Geospatial Platform Modernization Roadmap and NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan.

NOAA State of the Coast: Energy
Site offers high level statistics on ocean and coastal energy, an interactive map on Coastal State Energy Production Estimates, and Case Studies and Management Successes.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: Overview and NOAA Role
Site includes legal and licensing information for industries interested in developing OTEC capability in the United States.

Oil Spill Response
NOAA responds to more than 100 oil and chemical spills in US waters each year. NOAA's role in these spills is to provide scientific and technical support to prepare for and respond to oil and chemical releases.

Research for Renewable Energy Development
Renewable energy technologies face a number of challenges that will need to be met in order to be successfully integrated into the nation's energy system. Building on its expertise in environmental observation and prediction, NOAA can contribute to the development and integration of renewable-energy sources into the U.S. energy system through better atmospheric and oceanic observations, models, forecasts, and analysis tools.

Solar Resource Data Base
Version 1 of the solar resource assessment was recently completed. The assessment used surface solar radiation data from Version 1 of the GOES Surface and Insolation Product (GSIP) and resulted in a data base that covers 11 years (Jan 1, 1999 – Dec 31, 2009). The solar resource database includes eleven parameters on hourly, daily, and monthly time scales, as well as multi-year averages. These parameters are thought to be useful for estimating availability of solar energy over the contiguous US.  NOTE: This is a beta release, and as such, the data may include some errors, especially for winter months. Users should note the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) site disclaimer.

Space Weather Prediction Center
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO monitors the sun 24x7 for solar storms and is the nation’s official source for space weather warnings. In a worst case scenario, eruptions from the sun can lead to intense geomagnetic storms which may cause widespread transformer damage and impacts to the electrical grid.

Wind Forecast Improvement Project
WFIP is a research partnership between NOAA, DOE and two groups of private sector partners. The goal is to determine how many observations are enough to adequately sense the atmosphere to produce more accurate forecasts.