GE is one of those multinational conglomerates that makes just about everything, including the giant turbines that power much of the world. They also make monitoring software, so they can check up on those turbines. And using that software, they’ve made this movie showing exactly how much power 713 of those turbines drew over a 15-day period.
The graphic is by Fathom, which has been doing lots of cool visualizations of all the data GE collects about everything from energy use to health care. In this graphic, each blue sliver represents one gas-powered turbine (they flash white when they turn on). The height of each sliver represents the capacity of each turbine. As you can see, most are the same size, though there are few huge ones out there. Inside each sliver (hard to see until they cut away), a line graph shows the actual power output over the course of each day.
Regrettably, GE isn’t making more of this video available beyond this little piece of tutorial. It would be great to see this played out more slowly, or even made interactive, so you could see where individual turbines were and take a closer look at their specific usage. But, after you watch once and learn what everything means, rewatch with an eye toward the line graphs in each sliver, where you can be mesmerized by the power fluctuations of a single day. Seeing all the output required from just this small amount of the world’s turbines puts into perspective exactly how much power we’re using (a lot) and how much farther we have to go in replacing the gas that drives these turbines with something cleaner.