Sustainable Energy collection

The story of the world’s move towards sustainable energy, illuminated through a series of animated data visualizations.

United Nations

A photo taken at the Sustainable Energy for All forum. The image is taken from a crowd who are seated looking up at a presentation screen displaying a blue bubble chart. The top of the screen is cropped off the top of the image.

Everyone needs to have access to modern technologies by 2030. But how do we do that efficiently and in a way that doesn’t damage the planet?

The United Nations asked us to create a series of animations that could spark the interest of attendees at its Sustainable Energy for All forum in New York.

Working closely with data partners in the UN and World Bank we explored three key energy development challenges: energy access, energy efficiency and the uptake of renewables.

A closely collaboration between a researcher, designer and animator meant the the data, story, visual language and movement were all built with each other in mind.

Plotting dense datasheets was a time-consuming challenge. So we used AppleScripts to automate the data-plotting – quickly creating a timeline for many different countries at once.

We used glowing colours against a dark background to emphasise the themes of energy and light. We also worked hard to de-jargon the language, simplifying concepts like ‘energy efficiency’ and ‘energy intensity’ into quick and crunchy facts.

The animations were used at the Sustainable Energy for All forum, where over 1,000 high-level guests from government, business, civil society and international organisations from 110 countries came together to re-charge conversation about energy.

A shot taken from amongst a crowd of attendees at the Sustainable Energy Collection. In the background is a large screen with a data visualization displayed on it.
A side on shot of a speaker on stage in front of a seated crowd at the Sustainable Energy for All forum. The crowd sit on the left. The speaker on stage is stood on the right of the image.
Some graphics made for the Sustainable Energy Collection. It shows a small colourful city street with street lights, wires and pylons. Above this image are three icons representing part of the energy system like power boxes and documents.
A two dimensional scene of a house in front of rolling green hills. Next to the house are solar panels and behind the house on the hills are several wind turbines.

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