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2022-02-08 | J++ Newsletter #125
The recent European energy crisis has spawned a surge in data-driven energy reporting.

In this week's newsletter we (once again!) highlight some favourites. Many linked articles are in Swedish, but Google Translate does a fairly good job on all of them.

Electricity production


As the global share of renewable energy approaches the 1/3 mark, Al Jazeera sums up the numbers on electricity consumption and production in a series of charts, and an interactive “guess the number” widget at the bottom:
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/20/interactive-how-much-of-your-countrys-electricity-is-renewable-infographic



Newsworthy, our own local news service, just added a new monthly report on production, consumption and pricing in Sweden. Check out the first articles here:
https://www.newsworthy.se/artikel/129500/läget-på-elmarknaden-i-skåne-i-januari-i-fyra-punkter Swedish, Skåne County (Scania)


Why do Thailand import electricity, despite producing more than it consumes? The Earth Journalism Network (Internews) digs into the data, and follows the money:
https://earthjournalism.net/stories/locked-in-why-thailand-buys-electricity-from-laos


Many European countries are now compensating consumers for surging electricity prices. The Guardian compiled a handy overview of current policies. This seems like a potential starting point for more data-driven stories!
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/31/as-uk-households-feel-pressure-how-are-other-european-countries-tackling-energy-crisis
 

Vehicle electrification


The Swedish government is trying to speed up the conversion of the private vehicle fleet by a bonus-malus system, where low-emission cars are made cheaper, and others more expensive. In a series of articles, public service broadcaster SVT looked into the demographics of the recipients. TL;DR: The system favors the male, city-dwelling company executives:
https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/klimatbilsbonusen-i-grafer-650-vd-ar-fick-bonus (Swedish)
https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/klimatbidrag-blev-miljonregn-over-den-rikaste-procenten-i-sverige (Swedish)

Similar programs are already put in place or planned in many countries, and they are notoriously hard to get right from the start, making investigations like these an important task for data journalists.

On a similar note, SVT's sister company SR took a closer look at how subsidies for putting up vehicle charging stations where distributed, to find that they benefited wealthy municipalities in the big cities, and tourist destinations the most:
https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/mest-stod-till-elbilsladdning-i-storstader-och-turistorter (Swedish)

 
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Tools


Getting projections right in slippy maps is tricky. Map tiles are typically raster images, that do not lend themselves to be reprojected on the client-side, and simply switching projections from one zoom level to another would be an awkward user experience. The only way around the problem has been to custom-build your visualizations in e.g. D3, but now MapBox seems to be getting it right in their latest release! (Isn't it mind-boggling that it would take until 2022 before we could have good looking slippy maps on the internet?)
https://www.mapbox.com/blog/adaptive-projections
https://docs.mapbox.com/mapbox-gl-js/example/map-projection/
 
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