OVERCOMING DATA SCARCITY FOR ENERGY ACCESS PLANNING WITH OPEN DATA – THE EXAMPLE OF TANZANIA
Keywords: Open data, GIS for energy access planning, Mini-grids, Tanzania, SDGs
Abstract. The achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is heavily influenced by access to data: Data is necessary to assess the current status quo as well as to measure progress and to find opportune contextualized solutions for development challenges. Specifically, the lack of energy access (as defined in SDG7) is an immense bottleneck for development in Tanzania and considering spatial planning plays a crucial role in locating the most appropriate electrification solution for each site; taking into account not only its inherent characteristics, such as local demand for electricity and economic activities, but also external factors such as the distance to existing energy transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Data in Tanzania is scarce, and this paper is an attempt to analyze the potential of open data sources to increase data availability to eventually provide improved foundation for decision making and investment flows for electrification planning.
Results show that data quality of the given sources is sufficient for providing a novel level of disaggregated spatial information which can serve as an additional information stream for all involved stakeholders.
From both perspectives, with national planning on the one hand and bottom-up initiatives on the other hand, it is important to understand the spatial aspects of any planning scheme to guarantee that a successful implementation phase will follow the planning stage.