[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - electricity:source

Lukas Richert lrichert at posteo.de
Wed Sep 30 10:40:10 UTC 2020

Yes, I've seen exactly such signage on a number of charging stations in 
my area. I did consider the generator:source-type tagging as well, and 
pretty much took the possible values from there (plus adding the general 
'renewable' tag), however this is something that many different types of 
amenities advertise, like camp_sites, farms, harbours, etc. Therefore, 
my question is if it would be reasonable to also use as a tag for, e.g. 
buildings that are available to the public and use lighting from 
renewable sources.

Furthermore, there doesn't yet seem to be a great standard for mapping 
when electricity is available to the public - at least, I couldn't find 
appropriate tags via the camp_site wikipages. Closest seems to be 
power_supply <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:power_supply> 
(still in draft mode, but used some), however this seems to be meant 
more for individual sockets and it wouldn't fit well with tagging 
buildings that are simply powered by a specific type of energy. Also, 
the tag 'electricity' is being used to map if buildings are on- or 
off-grid (see also geographical distribution of the tags), so 
electricity:source might fit a bit better than power_supply:source, 
however both tags are not actually approved yet.

Perhaps we should try to combine the electricity draft and the 
electricity:source draft to finally be able to map publically 
used/available electricity? This seems to be, overall, a feature sorely 
lacking in OSM even though most people use it every day. I think it 
would be important to clarify which terminology is officially in use.

[Perhaps make electricity have the possible values grid or generator, 
and then use the tags generator:source and grid:source to further 
specify? This might be a problem for electricity=yes -> 
yes:source=renewable doesn't make sense, but it might not be possible 
for the mapper to verify if there is clear signage of '100% renwable 
energy' but the source is not clear ]

On 30/09/2020 09:24, Jez Nicholson wrote:
> For questions on ground-truth, the proposal page 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity:source 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity:source> 
> cites examples such as the e-bike charging station with its own solar 
> panels supplying the electricity 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Solar-Stromtankstelle_in_Allentsteig.jpg 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Solar-Stromtankstelle_in_Allentsteig.jpg> 
> Admittedly, a charging station could be supplied by electricity from a 
> green energy company that only uses renewable energy. In which case, 
> there may well be signage on the station.
> Lukas, did you consider charging_station:source ? to be similar to 
> other power tags (power:generator + generator:source=solar, 
> power:plant = plant:source=solar)?
> On Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 9:30 PM Lukas Richert <lrichert at posteo.de 
> <mailto:lrichert at posteo.de>> wrote:
>     Hi Colin,
>     I agree that while a few suppliers source all of their electricity
>     from renewable sources, most simply add a surcharge which is used
>     to fund the growth of renewable energy infrastructure and price
>     the electricity as if it were coming from solely renewable energy
>     sources. I'm working on an article for Wikipedia that will explain
>     green pricing tariffs in detail as this seems to be lacking in
>     English.
>     Arguing if the definiton of 'green electricity' is actually
>     'green' is not the point, this is already a term that is
>     explicitly advertised at the charging stations or camp sites (see
>     images in proposal) and also something that consumers look for as
>     they want to fund renewable energies in the hope that all grid
>     energy will be completely 'renewable' in future. While this
>     obviously won't be for at least 15-50 years depending on who you
>     ask, I think it is a worthwhile attribute to map as some people
>     are conscious of what types of electricity generation they wish to
>     support.
>     Best, Lukas
>     On 29/09/2020 16:56, Colin Smale wrote:
>>     Hi Lukas,
>>     You do realise that all electricity is the same, irrespective of
>>     how it is generated? The "greenness" or otherwise is not
>>     determined by the connection, but by the subscription/contract
>>     that the consumer has with their supplier.
>>     UNLESS they have a standalone generating capability, like PV or
>>     wind turbine that is not connected to the grid.
>>     On 2020-09-29 16:00, Lukas Richert wrote:
>>>     Hi,
>>>     I'd like to propose a new tag that defines the source of
>>>     publicly available electricity: electricity:source
>>>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity:source>
>>>     This could be used as an additional information tag on amenities
>>>     that provide electricity for public consumption, such as
>>>     bike/car charging stations or camp sites. Many charging stations
>>>     have nearby solar or use green pricing tariffs. I've also seen
>>>     camp sites and harbours advertise this.
>>>     This topic came up as a group wanted to plan a bike tour using
>>>     e-bikes but only with renewable energy. I noticed that there
>>>     appears to be no easy way to filter for the source of the
>>>     electricity provided.
>>>     Potential discussion: It's not quite clear to me whether
>>>     power_supply or electricity is preferred for this type of
>>>     application. It might also be interesting for consumers to see
>>>     which buildings are powered by green electricity if this is
>>>     something a store or similar advertises. So it may be worth
>>>     expanding the proposal to electricity used by the public even if
>>>     not directly available (e.g. lighting in a store).
>>>     Best regards,
>>>     Lukas
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