RCPA Releases Draft GHG Dashboard

SCTA/RCPA staff have developed the first Sonoma County Climate Dashboard for local government staff and members of the larger community to explore countywide greenhouse gas inventory data from 1990 to 2020. Emissions and activity data for 2022 will be added to the dashboard this summer upon completing the following countywide greenhouse gas inventory. Work is also underway to incorporate a series of resilience indicators into the dashboard to provide additional context for the activity and emissions data in the existing inventory.

RCPA has previously compiled and published communitywide inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cover the years from 1990 to 2020. These greenhouse gas inventories help track progress toward achieving Sonoma County’s short and long-term emissions reduction goals. Staff is working on an update covering 2022 emission levels and plans to present these findings to the Board later in 2024.

With each release of new data, a report is produced for publication, and a summary of the information is posted on the RCPA website. All jurisdictions identified as needing better access to RCPA’s greenhouse gas inventory data for internal staff use and community outreach purposes. Although RCPA has published a public report for each of our previous inventory updates and has made selected graphs and tables available, a fully featured reporting dashboard has not been available before now.

Further conversations with RCPA members helped to identify Microsoft Power BI (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/industry/energy/) as the leading software solution to develop dashboards and visualizations, given our specific needs and limitations. The software is currently used by numerous other public agencies for online dashboards and is designed to integrate with the existing analysis tools that RCPA uses to develop the greenhouse gas inventory. In parallel, SCTA is also investigating the software as an option for sharing transportation and land use data with our partners and the public.

Resilience Indicators: RCPA staff is compiling a data catalog of other resilience indicators and sustainability metrics to provide additional context for the activity and emissions data in the existing inventory. Using transportation as an example, our current inventory calculates emissions based on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and countywide emission rates but does not measure other indicators, such as the actual number of vehicles or the amount of fuel consumed. Examples of data that may provide insight into emission changes could include:

  • Annual gallons of gas/diesel sold in Sonoma County over time
  • Number of fossil fueling stations in Sonoma County over time
  • Number and percentage share of current electric vehicle sales over time
  • Number and percentage share of total electric vehicle registrations over time
  • Number of publicly available electric vehicle charging stations over time

 

A comprehensive catalog of additional data sources is being compiled for release alongside the subsequent greenhouse gas inventory results in 2024. RCPA staff is working closely with the SCTA Data Analyst to identify high-value publicly available data sets to include as part of these resilience indicators.

RCPA Dashboard Development: Working with representatives from local jurisdictions, a draft project scope for the greenhouse gas dashboard was developed, and initial user types were evaluated. Active development work began shortly afterward, focusing on the display and visualization of current RCPA greenhouse gas inventory data. Over time, RCPA staff is also planning to incorporate the resilience indicators discussed above, local jurisdictional municipal operations GHG inventory data, and the research results from Sonoma Climate Mobilization Strategy Implementation, including adopted climate initiatives and anticipated actions across all jurisdictions.

One external data source included in this initial dashboard is from the County of Sonoma’s recent Carbon Inventory and Potential Sequestration Study published in November 2023. Although the data in this report is not directly linked to greenhouse gas emissions, it will be instrumental in directing carbon sequestration efforts over the upcoming years to balance our emissions and reach carbon neutrality.

https://bit.ly/SonomaCounty_GHG_Dashboard