This is an experiment using realtime data to tell stories about renewable energy.
The turbine spins faster or slower in response to the amount of wind power currently being generated at that moment (updated every five minutes).
Wind is often derided as relatively unimportant, so we thought it would be nice to show the increasingly important role it plays in a balanced mix of energy generation.
We wanted to make MWh something more tangible, so we've taken some data* on the average energy usage of domestic products to hopefully bring those big numbers to life.
We also wanted to show the increasing importance of wind in the energy mix over time and the graph allows us to do that in a simple way as well as giving us a means of navigating across time. You can change the date range on the graph to show longer term trends.
We are aware that numbers can be used to tell all sorts of stories, and that this is just one narrative among many possible ones. We choose to shine a positive light on the amount of energy being generated by wind. For a more rigorous interpretation of energy data, you should read David Mackay’s Sustainable Energy - Without Hot Air .
So please take this in the manner it was created: as a lightweight experiment in real(-ish) time data interpretation.
In our quest to experiment with new ways of visualising data, we’ve made a 360° Virtual Reality version of Winderful. Dragging left and right lets you explore our seasonal "Winderful Christmas" landscape.
As a bonus, we’re also now pulling through realtime UK solar energy data, as produced by PV Live - Sheffield Solar
Winderful VR works well on desktop, better on mobile and best with VR glasses such as Google Cardboard.
The wind energy data comes from www.elexon.co.uk.
* The numbers on energy consumption come from
Source code can be found on GitHub.
The trees we used were from Poly by Google