about electricity.watchThe mission of electricity.watch is to while being open and non-profit.
There are many projects ¹ with a similar mission, most notably the
However, to actually act more environmentally aware, additional knowledge is often required. For example, do you know what amount of CO₂ equivalent per kWh is "high" or "low" in your country?
Additionally, many projects focus only on the amount of CO₂ required to generate electricity. However, there is more data available which can be considered to achieve a more sustainable consumption of electricity.
electricity.watch eases environmentally aware consumption
of electricity by providing information and tools which can directly
be used to take action.
For humans, ratings whether or not it is a good time to consume electricity in a certain area are provided. Those ratings can help to decide whether to charge batteries, to do the laundry, or to vacuum-clean now or later.
For machines, an API is provided which exposes the rating mentioned above and the underlying data. Therewith, it is intended to provide tools which facilitate environmentally aware operation of infrastructures, such as server computers.
electricity.watch supports a more sustainable consumption
of electricity by taking multiple criteria into account and making
such criteria adaptive.
Ratings are based on up to three criteria, depending on whether the required data is currently available for an area or not. The evaluation of the criteria and their adaption happens per area. 1) Ratings consider the share of electricity generated from renewable sources. Because renewable sources harm the environment the least, this share should increase over time. To achieve a positive rating, the share must therefore be above the average. In contrast to ratings purely based on CO₂, electricity generated from nuclear power has a negative influence on this criterion. Until the problem of disposing nuclear waste is resolved, nuclear power must be considered a unsustainable source of energy. 2) Ratings consider the load in the electricity grid, which is the amount of energy transmitted. More load requires more capacities, which require more equipment, which require resources for production, operation and disposal. Because infinite growth with finite resources harms the environment, the load should not increase over time. For a positive rating, the load must therefore be below its average. 3) Ratings consider the imbalance energy, which is needed when there is an underproduction of electricity. When there is an overproduction of electricity (more electricity generated than consumed), the imbalance is negative. Because having balancing energy available requires extra resources, it only helps efficiency and sustainability to consume electricity when there is an overproduction. For a positive rating, the imbalance in an area must therefore be negative.
Note that the rating criteria are relative to historic data, which results in a self-amplifying feedback loop: If everyone would consume electricity according to the ratings, future ratings would have increased goals. Although this might not always be possible, the adaptive design of the criteria aims for an increasingly environmentally friendly consumption of electricity.