Microhydro Nepal credit Robyn Meeks

Harnessing Data and Modern Technology

The proliferation of Earth observation satellites, vehicle-mounted cameras, smart meters, cookstove sensors, various crowdsourced platforms, and other innovative technologies provide new opportunities for advancing sustainable energy access. These technologies constantly generate and/or aggregate data which may be analyzed using deep learning techniques to reveal patterns that can guide improved planning, policymaking, and investment.

The James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke works to leverage such opportunities, via enhanced data-sharing and coordination, creation of more public and transparent resources, and a focus especially on data creation and analysis that covers remote and underserved populations. We leverage cutting-edge techniques to collect and analyze large-scale and often real-time data. Key applications include computer vision processing of satellite imagery to identify who has access to on- and off-grid electricity, analyzing customer consumption data from smart meters to help developers build more sustainable business models, and tracking the frequency and implications of electricity outages for adoption of various modern energy technologies. We further work with partners around the globe to advance the development of principles and standards that enhance the availability of data and the ability of stakeholders to use energy data for the public good.

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