e-GUIDE Launches Electricity Prediction Service Using Satellite Imagery

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The Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative has launched an Electricity Consumption Prediction service for Africa. e-Guide hopes to end energy poverty in Africa by combining satellite imagery, historical big data and machine learning techniques, to create a comprehensive picture of expected electricity demand across Africa.

This free service, which launched today, looks to address challenges faced by utility companies, regulators, system planners, off-grid companies, and researchers in matching electricity supply and demand across Africa. 

The service was funded by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation and development was led by Simone Fobi, a PhD student at Columbia University, in collaboration with University of Massachusetts Amherst, Carnegie Mellon University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Colorado School of Mines, utility companies, and off-grid electricity providers. 

At inception, the prediction service will provide intelligence on residential consumption in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. And is expected to predict the consumption of SMEs and possible coverage for the whole of Africa by next year. 

Joseph Nganga who serves as Rockefeller Foundation Executive Director for Power & Climate in Africa said: “The impact of the pandemic, particularly on vulnerable households, should serve as a prompt for us to redouble our efforts to achieve universal electricity access in an equitable and sustainable way. The Electricity Consumption Prediction service is a transformative and vital tool that will help direct investments to solve this profound challenge.”

Jay Taneja, the initiative lead and an assistant professor with UMass Amherst’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said: “We must be able to make the most of every investment in electricity access if we are to quickly and sustainably end energy poverty. By making better use of data, we can significantly accelerate the pace of change and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. It is only through data that we can understand the diversity that exists within consumption and define on- and off-grid solutions that exactly meet the needs of customers, now and in the future.”

“Bringing affordable and reliable power to Kenyans in a sustainable way is core to our work. By partnering closely with the e-GUIDE Initiative, we have a unique opportunity to gain new insights from our data that will underpin our investment strategy going forward.”  Samson Ondiek, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director & CEO of Kenya Power, said.



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