Electrification planning in rural areas and in developing countries most often relies on the outputs of specialized analytical tools that support geographically-referenced analyses.
A study published in WIREs Energy and Environment reviews the handful of existing tools, to explore the extent to which the outputs of these tools can help to establish calculate energy–and climate-related indicators that are relevant to assess the implementation of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The results highlight gaps in knowledge, monitoring needs, and trends across existing tools.
The study reveals possible strategic improvements that range from the incorporation of new input parameters (i.e. social, population, governance, legal), through advanced design characteristics (combination of numeric analysis with indicators), to the expansion of functionalities (calculation of greenhouse gas emissions, energy demand, load profiles).
The study adds to the existing knowledge in two ways: it provides a comparative review of the tools referred to above, and it gives pointers for improved design of the next generation tools. Ultimately, the study highlights additional research in the areas of energy access and climate-change mitigation policies that could catalyze a quantum leap in the ability to conduct sound energy planning and monitor progress with the main energy related Sustainable Development Goals.
Kindly contributed by Magda Moner-Girona, Daniel Puig, Yacob Mulugetta, Ioannis Kougias, Jafaru AbdulRahman, Sandor Szabó.