africa Clean Power Climate Change co2 emissions Coal Côte d'Ivoire DRC Fossil Fuels Geospatial energy data GRID Grid Parity Grid Storage KTH Royal Institute of Technology Malawi Microgrids NASA Natural Gas Nigeria NREL nuclear energy Off The Grid Oil OnSSET Power Explorer Renewable Energy Data Explorer research science solar energy space sub-saharan africa Technology Uganda USAid Waste Reduction World Resources Institute Zambia

Seeing Energy From Space: 5 Tools Using Remote Sensing To Improve Life On Earth

Seeing Energy From Space: 5 Tools Using Remote Sensing To Improve Life On Earth

Clean Energy

Revealed on Might 10th, 2019 |
by World Assets Institute

Might 10th, 2019 by World Assets Institute 

Originally revealed on WRI’s Useful resource Watch platform, a platform which features tons of of knowledge sets multi functional place on the state of the planet’s assets and citizens.

By Aaron Kressig, Dimitrios Mentis

Access to dependable electricity is important for enhancing human livelihoods and is a prerequisite for financial improvement. But a whole lot of tens of millions of individuals lack access to a secure provide. Whereas entry to electricity is important, the sector can also be the leading driver of greenhouse fuel emissions globally.

Tracking the progress and modifications to the electrical energy sector has large implications for a way nations all over the world develop, and how we will go about tackling local weather change. Several organizations, including the World Assets Institute, have been gathering knowledge on the ever-changing electrical energy sector using geospatial knowledge and satellite tv for pc imagery.

Seeing Energy from Area

The supply of high-quality knowledge tailor-made to tell sustainable determination making has elevated quickly in recent times because of technological breakthroughs. Perhaps no different improvement has had a higher influence on the supply of this knowledge in recent times than the proliferation of high-quality satellite tv for pc imagery.

Satellite imagery is being used in progressive methods, to take a look at nighttime lights to see the place individuals have electricity access and to determine key options of energy crops and transmission strains. With the ability to see power infrastructure from area permits researchers to not solely determine the situation of key infrastructure, however to find out key traits, akin to a power crops’ gasoline sort, cooling know-how, and emission plumes.

Prior to now, when electrical energy knowledge was not reported, there have been no various sources. At the moment we will use satellites to fill some of these knowledge gaps even when there isn’t a reported info. Geospatial power knowledge has considerably expanded not only the amount of electrical energy sector-related knowledge that is obtainable, however has enabled more refined analysis, allowing us to raised perceive the complexities of the electrical energy sector.

So as to reveal the real-world benefits which might be achieved by mapping electricity sector infrastructure, we’ll provide an summary of five thrilling initiatives altering the best way choice makers consider electricity sector improvement and provide examples of how they’ve finished so on the ground.

Open Supply Spatial Electrification Device (OnSSET)

OnSSET is an open source, spatial electrification device that provides know-how and funding outlooks on expanding access by way of on grid, off-grid and mini-grid methods. Considering a number of knowledge layers comparable to renewable power potential, location of infrastructure (grid network, roads, power crops), OnSSET maps out the combination of applied sciences which are probably the most cost-efficient throughout the studied region to succeed in sure electricity entry objectives. The key added worth is that OnSSET has a modular system design that permits versatile analysis, straightforward updates and algorithm variations, aiming to capture any specificity related to each venture.

A current research revealed in Environmental Analysis Letters predicts a mixture of electrification options will probably be wanted to succeed in common access in sub-Saharan Africa. The research found that for a contemporary electricity consumption degree state of affairs, expanding the prevailing grid will be the least expensive strategy to achieve universal power access alongside the primary corridors between major cities. Nevertheless, away from the primary cities the place constructing out the prevailing grid can be too expensive, distributed choices like stand alone and mini-grid methods, supply a less expensive choice for electrifying rural communities.

In Malawi, KTH Royal Institute of Know-how and native determination makers use OnSSET to discover least-cost choices to universal electrification. By educating native stakeholders how the program works and methods to run it, they’re able to build capability in utilizing geospatial evaluation to inform power planning.

Facebook, Mapping Electricity Distribution Strains (Medium Voltage)

Facebook has launched a mannequin to assist map international medium voltage (MV) grid infrastructure, or the distribution strains, which carry electrical energy via cities and rural areas to get to end customers: houses, corporations, faculties, hospitals, and so on. They have shared a full tutorial on reproducing the mannequin, segments of code and mannequin knowledge for six African nations: Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, DRC, Côte D’Ivoire and Zambia.  The grid maps are produced utilizing a new methodology that employs numerous publicly-available datasets (night time time satellite imagery, roads, political boundaries, and so forth.) to predict the situation of present MV grid infrastructure. The info will drastically assist with planning for grid enlargement to increase power access and combine distributed renewable power assets. Location of grid infrastructure is a key element in infrastructure planning, but this knowledge is usually of poor high quality, outdated or just not out there in many nations. With the extra launch of mannequin documentation and code, knowledge scientists and planners can replicate the model globally, so MV mapping could be expanded to other nations the place this knowledge isn’t already out there.

Discover knowledge on electricity access on Resource Watch under.

Energy Explorer

Energy Explorer is a undertaking that gives brazenly out there knowledge on key attributes of energy crops, together with exact location, gasoline sort, know-how, capability, proprietor and electrical energy era in the international energy plant database. Future iterations may also embrace info on plant-level carbon dioxide emissions, air pollutants and water use. The dataset has over 30,000 power crops which cover an estimated 85 % of worldwide put in electricity capacity over 164 nations. By providing the primary open entry, mapped dataset of the world’s power crops, determination makers at the moment are capable of overlay power crops with different geospatial datasets, permitting us to raised understand energy crops’ air pollution and their danger from water scarcity.

Improvement banks are using Power Explorer knowledge to inform sustainable investment practices in North Africa and the Center East, by assessing water risks dealing with present and deliberate thermal power crops within the area and quantifying the good thing about turning to less-water intensive era sources comparable to wind and solar. By together with water danger of their investment selections, they don’t seem to be only planning for future droughts, they’re also choosing power sources with lower carbon emissions and air pollution.

Power Explorer knowledge is hosted on Resource Watch.

NREL and USAID’s Renewable Energy Knowledge Explorer

Renewable Energy (RE) Knowledge Explorer is a user-friendly geospatial evaluation software for analyzing renewable power potential and informing selections. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Improvement (USAID), RE Knowledge Explorer performs visualization and analysis of renewable power potential for user-defined situations that may be custom-made for particular places. RE Knowledge Explorer can help prospecting, integrated planning, policymaking and other decision-making activities to accelerate renewable power deployment.

Using the RE Knowledge Explorer software, NREL and USAID are working with the Mexican businesses to help numerous power policy selections. For example, their Secretariat of Energy is utilizing the RE Knowledge Explorer to determine regions in Mexico the place they will most affordably construct new renewable power tasks.

Energy Entry Explorer

Leveraging the facility of worldwide satellite imagery mixed with knowledge from local databases, World Assets Institute (WRI) collaborates with international partners and native stakeholders to develop Energy Access Explorer. Energy Access Explorer is a forthcoming on-line, open-source, interactive platform that brings collectively and analyses several spatial knowledge sets on both power provide and demand. The device uses location-specific useful resource availability and infrastructure knowledge to characterize power provide. Energy Access Explorer additionally incorporates demographic and socio-economic knowledge to visualise demand. Together, these provide and demand indicators enable extra comprehensive planning not just for power planning establishments but in addition for mini-grid developers and improvement finance establishments and donors.

Info into Motion

Every of those initiatives has a singular supply and totally different audiences, yet they’re comparable in that each depends on geospatial knowledge to determine key traits of electrical energy infrastructure, which might in any other case not be recognized. Geospatial knowledge and analyses are rapidly altering the best way we take a look at the electrical energy sector, and key actors within the government and private sector are more and more taking notice.

Whereas all of these efforts are quite current, we are already beginning to see them driving constructive sustainable improvement.

As choice makers begin to use geospatial knowledge and analysis to take a look at the electricity sector in relation to its environmental impacts and social benefits, it is going to grow to be easier to make clever, sustainable selections on future power sector progress. Enhancing the supply and transparency of a majority of these knowledge is important to tackling the twin challenge of human improvement and local weather change. 


Tags: Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Geospatial power knowledge, KTH Royal Institute of Know-how, Malawi, NASA, Nigeria, NREL, OnSSET, Energy Explorer, Renewable Energy Knowledge Explorer, Area, sub-saharan africa, uganda, USAid, World Assets Institute, Zambia

Concerning the Writer

World Assets Institute is a worldwide analysis group that spans more than 50 nations, with workplaces in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, and the USA. Our more than 450 specialists and employees work intently with leaders to show huge ideas into action to maintain our pure assets—the inspiration of economic opportunity and human well-being. Find out extra at

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