Main Energy Sources of the Republic of Ireland

Hi all,
My name’s Pete, and I’m a Swansea student who’s made a data visualisation of the location, fuel type and estimated energy generated by each power plant in the Republic of Ireland. I had a few questions regarding my visualisation, in terms of how to develop it further.
Thanks in advance

Image :

Dataset Source:

Visual Design Type : Symbol Map

Name of Tool : Tableau Desktop

Country : Republic of Ireland

Year : 2014

Visual Mappings :

  • Colour – primary_fuel
  • Shape – Circle
  • Size – estimated_generation_gwh , which has been scaled up to make it easier to see all values, including the lower-producing wind farms.

Unique Observation : While the most common type of power plant in the Republic is wind-power, the largest single plants, in terms of estimated capacity, appear to be gas and coal-powered, and appear to be located in the top three major urban areas of the country, i.e. Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Overall, fossil fuels appear to be responsible at least a sizeable amount of, if not the majority, of the Republic’s energy output.

Data Preparation :

  • Filtered out all countries apart from the Republic of Ireland.
  • Increased the size scale of the circles, to make it clearer to read
  • Darkened base layer of map, in order to make the size and location of the circles clearer.


  • Is my visualisation readable, and does it make sense?
  • Is my choice of colour map optimal?
  • Is there a type of graph that would be better suited for this type of visualisation?

Hi Pete,

Your visualisation is clear in showing distribution of different power plants across Ireland, and the relative power production of each station can be seen easily by the varied sizes of the markers/circles.

Your choice of colour is fine, different types of power plants (by primary fuel type) can be told apart fairly easily as there is a small amount of fuel types to differentiate from, allowing for a varied colour palette.
Also, I personally think the dark background creates a good contrast, making power stations easyer to spot.

I would say the map is well suited for visualising the spread of different types of power plants, but you could add a second visualisation side by side to accompany this one if you perhaps want to enrich the information presented.