Interactive browser offers customized searches for electricity data
The U.S. Energy Information Administration launched an interactive electricity data browser on its beta test website that will allow users to search much of EIA's electricity data in one location and customize it to meet their information needs.
As an experimental browser, you are encouraged to submit suggestions to EIA through a special feedback button on how to improve the browser's features and the data presentation. At the website, www.eia.gov/beta/enerdat, about a dozen pop-up information boxes appear at the click of a help button to describe how to use the browser. You can also watch a short video to see how it works.
You can find a range of electricity information through the browser; from the amount of total U.S. electricity generated by wind or solar energy to the amount generated at individual power plants in a state. Before, users had to look online at separate EIA electricity reports to find specific data, especially over time periods. Now, this data comes together in one place.
The browser provides data on electricity generation, power demand, fuel generation costs and much more on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis back to 2001. Users can pick pre-generated Electric Power Monthly tables or search broadly for electricity information on the United States as a whole. Users can then narrow down the data to a region of the country, a particular state, or a plant.
Data searches can be customized in three fields (see filter/order dropdown): type of fuel used for electricity generation (natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables, etc); the sector producing electricity (commercial, utilities or industrial); and by geographic area (such as the U.S., Mid-Atlantic States or Virginia).
The information requested is then presented in a table format. But with the simple click of the browser's graphing button, users can instantly see the changes in the data over specified time periods in easy-to-understand line charts (see below).
For example, users can track changes in U.S. electricity generation by fuel type on a monthly basis over several years. Users can also quickly switch the tracking period for the same information to a quarterly or annual timespan.
EIA's electricity data tables can be shown in line charts by clicking a graphing button