World Resources Institute launches Energy Access Explorer

Today, the World Resources Institute (WRI) – an SF strategic partner since 2002 – launched Energy Access Explorer, a new open-source platform, leverages satellite imagery combined with 20 local data sets to visualise energy supply and demand in East Africa.

More than 800 million people around the world lack reliable electricity; nearly 600 million of them reside in sub-Saharan Africa and 82 million of them live in just three East African nations: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This is a problem both for individual households and larger development outcomes. Without reliable power, refrigerators can’t safely store food or vaccines, hospitals can’t power medical devices and schools can’t keep the lights on so children can study. 

The Energy Access Explorer will equip electricity planners, investors and clean energy entrepreneurs with the data they need to close the electricity access gap. Renewable energy could also help power critical healthcare facilities and schools. Energy Access Explorer data reveals that there’s high solar potential in 82-98% of the areas where schools and hospitals are located in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; there’s high potential for hydropower in at least 60% of these areas.