Power plant monitoring

Carbon Tracker offers a novel carbon monitoring approach


In May 2019, Award-Winning NGO Carbon Tracker announced a new project in collaboration with WattTime and the World Resources Institute (WRI). This project will use satellite imagery to quantify carbon emissions from every large power plant in the world. The project has received $1.7 million in funding from Google.org after being selected through the Google AI Impact Challenge.

The project will leverage the expanding satellite ecosystem to observe power plants from space. Artificial intelligence technology will be used in conjunction with the latest image processing algorithms to detect signs of power plant emissions. For maximum accuracy, the project will combine data from a variety of different sensors operating at different wavelengths. Algorithms will cross-validate multiple indicators of power plant emissions, from thermal infrared (indicating heat near smokestacks and cooling water intakes) to the visual spectrum (recognition of smoke emissions from power plants).

Carbon Tracker plans to make the emission data publicly available to improve the visibility of pollution being generated around the world. A senior associate at WRI said: “The more transparency we can provide for energy consumers around the world, the more likely we are to solve some the of the monumental challenges facing our planet.”