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IEA Unveils AI Tool To Address Africa’s Energy Challenge

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has come up with an innovative answer to Africa’s challenge of energy accessibility.

The Open Energy Maps tool, released by the IEA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), includes maps in Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda, with estimates for electricity demand and electrification stats for all identified buildings in these regions.

IEA identified that traditional scaling methods which involve extensive field work can fall short to meet today’s problems, leaving loopholes in acquiring accurate data.

Alongside researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Electricity Growth and Use In Developing Economies, IEA introduced the tool just to bridge this gap.

According to the agency, this open-source model can mark buildings with or without electricity access by using satellite images and artificial intelligence algorithms.

With proven accuracy by 80 per cent of the number of buildings having electricity, and error reduction by 40 per cent when estimating electricity demand, the agency believes that if trained on a representative sample of communities, it can deliver predictions from a local context, cultures, climate, and other factors on a larger scale. The tool usually picks up on details such as whether the building is urban or rural, residential or commercial, and if the community is connected by major roads to markets.

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Source: Thisday

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