The White House demonstrated how energy data is fueling new products and services aimed at promoting greater energy efficiency in America. It announced several new initiatives to make government data more accessible to developers and the public. Last week, The US Department of Energy has doubled the number of datasets to more than 900 in the past 90 days that are publicly available on Energy.Data.Gov.
Additionally, the White House announced four new programming tools to make it easier to inject government data into commercial applications to help entrepreneurs build applications that can enhance the overall quality of life. This proves how conscious the US government is about the effects of opening up data to the wider public.
The new application programming interfaces (or API’s) are meant to help entrepreneurs build applications that can help commercial businesses and residential utility customers better manage their energy consumption and lower their utility bills.
The new API’s are the following:
Electricity API: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced the development of an API for its series on monthly, quarterly, and annual data for electric generation, consumption, and retail sales.
Fuel Economy API: The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly announced the development of a new interface for data from the fueleconomy.gov website. The API will provide access to all of the data currently displayed in the “Find and Compare Cars” interactive tool, which includes model years 1984 through 2013.
Environmental APIs: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the development of its enhanced Envirofacts API, which will greatly improve the technical community’s degree of access to environmental datasets.
Biomass API: The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the development of an API for biomass data that capitalizes on the “U.S. Billion Ton Report” – a landmark study on biomass as a feedstock for bioenergy. That information will now be more readily available and useful to researchers and software developers.
In general, it is good to see that the US government becomes increasingly aware of the benefits of opening up data. Hopefully, this trend will be copied by national authorities globally to create a new entrepreneurial ecosystem.