Which fuel sources power the world?

Guideline: Hi, thanks for giving me your time. I’m trying to visualise what are the biggest fuel sources used for power generation in the entire world and comparing the difference to others. Note: the dataset has estimated the total generation for each plant for 2014 and is last updated June 2019.

Source : http://datasets.wri.org/dataset/globalpowerplantdatabase
Reference : https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/products-services/electric-power/world-electric-power-plants-database

Visual Design Type: TreeMap
Name of Tool: Tableau
Country: Global
Year: 2014 Estimate
Visual Mappings:

  1. Square size represents the Total (GWH) for the fuel source. Ordered Largest to Smallest
  2. Marks on squares state fuel-type total generation and calculated percentage that the type has over the entire global generation.
  3. Coloring is used to distinguish each Square from another, useful for identifying unlabelled squares.

Data Preparation:

  1. Removed null values
  2. Calculated Total and percentage of each fuel source.
  3. Summed all plants by primary fuel source.

Unique Observation:

  1. Coal is the biggest source for generation accounting for over 40.5% of generated power.
  2. Coal and Gas (non-renewable energy) are more than half of all power generation.
  3. Hydro generation is the biggest renewable energy source in this data but is just half of coal generation.
  4. Energy generation fuel sources are not well-distributed and there exists a heavy reliance on coal.

Does it help visualise the vast difference in generation for fuel sources, if not is there a better way to compare size?
Should have I done more to integrate non-primary fuel sources( some power-plants have multiple fuel sources), if so how?

I very much like your visualisation, it clearly portrays the information you wish to show simply and efficiently. To help you answer your questions:

1: From your visualisation and use of colour the differences between fuel sources is clear. However you have a legend/key as well as labels within the visualisation, making the labels redundant to some extent. Maybe a different more obvious way to compare size alone would be a packed bubble visualisation.

2: I don’t think adding more information to the visualisation without detracting from what you are trying to visualise is the best way to go, however if you want to add multiple fuel sources, maybe using an additional visualisation within a dashboard, or instead using a circle views, or a digital map to allow the user to compare information without having to memorise anything, but also zoom and focus on specific information without it being complex and cluttered. Hopefully this helps.

Overall I feel you have done a good job, in portraying the information you have chosen it is simple and clear.