E-Mapping For Electricity Access In SAARC

Background

Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy is one of the most important factors in the socio-economic uplift of a country. There are many areas in the SAARC region, which still do not have access to energy whereby, limiting their participation in modern economy and culture. One of the challenges in providing access to energy in these areas through extending the power grid is lack of complete and accurate mapping of the existing electric infrastructure. Therefore, it is imperative to identify these areas and their distance from the nearby grid or grid-connected areas. This requires a centralized mapping of such off-grid areas and grid infrastructure. In this Context, SAARC Energy Centre had undertaken this project in 2021 for mapping of off-grid areas and high voltage grid infrastructure in SAARC Region.

Objective

The objective of this project is to conduct a thorough mapping of off-grid areas and High Voltage (HV) transmission networks/grids of SAARC Member states that would be used as tool by policy makers, investors, grid operators and other stakeholders for effective decision making, strategic power systems planning, network expansion, cross border electricity trade and/or alternative means of providing access to electricity in off grid areas, and tracking progress on SDG 7.

About the tool

This tool is an open access, online platform with several useful features such as enabling users to select any region within the SAARC Member States to obtain information about the off-grid areas and nearest grid infrastructure. Users can explore different scenarios through applying appropriate filters to obtain useful contextual information pertaining to off-grid areas, grid stations, Power plants etc for the selected SAARC Country.

The current set of results in this tool is developed through using data from secondary sources and applying Machine Learning (ML) algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to identify and map the off-grid areas and High Voltage (HV) grid infrastructure. In the interests of transparency and collaboration, the mapping process has been opened for feedback and improvements from other institutions, experts and practitioners.

For any inquiries and potential collaboration please contact the following representative from SEC:

  • Mr. Muhammad Ali Qureshi
  • Research Fellow (Power)
  • SAARC Energy Centre, Islamabad.
  • Email: rfpower@saarcenergy.org, info@saarcenergy.org

Disclaimer

The findings expressed in this work do not necessarily reflect the views of the SAARC Energy Centre or SAARC and the governments they represent. While all efforts have been made to identify off-grid areas and grid infrastructure with high accuracy through GIS/AI, however, errors and omissions are expected due to technology limitations. SAARC Energy Centre does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this tool, and cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions, or losses, which emerge from its use.