Interactive timelines combine policies and energy data

29 August 2014

What happened to CO2 emissions in Poland after the country instituted a national target in 2009, or to electricity usage by industry in Brazil following the adoption in 1991 of its National Energy Conservation Programme? Find out in just a few clicks using dynamic timeline charts now available on the IEA website.

The IEA Policies and Measures Databases (PAMS), which use information sourced directly from governments to track the development of clean energy policies globally, now includes an interactive visualisation feature. Put simply, the web tool shows users how specific benchmarks evolved as clean energy laws, regulations and other policy tools went into effect in more than 100 countries.

Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but the tool details policies adopted in IEA members and non-member countries alike, and then the charts illustrate energy statistics and also environmental and macroeconomic data from 1990 through 2012, prior and subsequent to implementation.

For instance, in the screen image to the right, the line marking Italian deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) takes off sharply after 2010, a year in which three new initiatives took effect. Two of those are policy number 11, funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and bike-sharing, and number 12, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan.

For energy efficiency and carbon emissions as well as renewables, the tool provides the raw material for a deeper analysis of policies’ effects on the ground in each country – informed by such diverse statistics as gross domestic product (GDP), total primary energy supply (TPES) and demand across various sectors. When the cursor hovers over the chart line for a selected measure, the number for that year appears. Users can also zoom in on a range of years to better follow developments.

Click here to access the PAMS databases and select from among three topics: climate change, renewable energy or energy efficiency. Each of the three leads to a map; click on a country and then on its “all records” link to review national clean energy policies, sorting them by any of five filters. Finally, click the yellow button to show the timeline with the policies listed by year, and then select which statistics to track.  Add or subtract any of the available measures, revealing not only rises and declines in the context of new policies but also relative to any other data displayed.