Satellite imagery used for electricity consumption forecasting in Africa


The Electricity Consumption Prediction service for Africa has been launched by the e-GUIDE Initiative. The service, which will be freely available, provides estimates of future electricity consumption at high spatial resolution, and combines satellite imagery with historic and big data sources. The service improves the planning and provision of electricity towards ending energy poverty, helping to direct investments and scale projects that support the economic recovery of communities devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The e-GUIDE Initiative is a collaboration between The Rockefeller Foundation, UMass Amherst, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Colorado School of Mines.
The service addresses the challenges faced by utilities, regulators, system planners, off-grid companies, and researchers in adequately matching supply and demand and identifying the most appropriate technology solutions for investment. By combining datasets and applying machine learning techniques, the service will create a comprehensive picture of expected demand for every region across Africa for the first time. In countries with limited historic consumption data, the service will extrapolate insights based on consumer profiles in similar environments, allowing learnings to flow across borders.