Assam: WRI India launches online geo-spatial platform in Guwahati
The Energy Access Explorer was inaugurated in Guwahati on Wednesday

Guwahati: The World Resources Institute (WRI) India launched an online, open-source, and interactive geospatial platform for Assam. 

Called the Energy Access Explorer (EAE), it was inaugurated in Guwahati in partnership with the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) on Wednesday.

The platform will help visualise the extent of energy access in Assam’s health education and livelihood infrastructure. It claims to assist policy-makers, renewable energy industry entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers from the development sector to make integrated and impactful decisions to expand energy access in the state in the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way possible.

“The government of India’s Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) attempts to provide quality and reliable power for both rural and urban areas. EAE could help us track the electricity demand as we expand this scheme. Most importantly, it will help us validate our claims on energy provision and can provide us mid-course correction possibilities.” said Niraj Verma, principal secretary, Department of Power, Assam Government.

While Assam has made great strides in electricity provisioning to homes in the past decade, 37.7 per cent of health sub-centres and 41 per cent of schools in rural Assam lack access to reliable and sustainable power. The downfall in the rate was highest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years, both the central and state governments of India, have pointed out the need to enhance energy access to the country. In sectors such as house-electrification, healthcare, education and livelihood facilities, it lacks access to reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity supply.

“EAE leverages the power of satellite imagery, combined with local data to visualise power supply and demand. It equips electricity planners, investors and entrepreneurs with data needed to close the access gap. We are creating similar platforms for analysis in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and also India,” said OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India.

“In extending our support to WRI India’s EAE platform, we want to spread a message that India is on the cusp of energy transition globally and AEDA will ensure Assam is not left behind. We want renewable energy entrepreneurs to leverage the data provided by the platform and create a scenario of viability and affordability for themselves and consumers,” said Mrinal Krishna Chaudhury, Director, AEDA.

A training session was held to educate and inform stakeholders from different departments of state and private sectors. Another training session will be held in the Dhubri District of Assam in September.

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