• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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EnAccess, WRI champion maiden open source energy access initiative


In a bid to foster data-driven decision-making in the energy sector, the EnAccess Foundation and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have championed the inaugural open-source in energy access initiative.

The first ever Open Source in Energy Access Symposium (OSEAS), which was held in Abuja, from May 7-10, 2024, is supported by the World Bank, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), and Prospect.

Abba Aliyu, Acting Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), said that the Federal Minister of Power wants the agency to focus on developing an electrification plan.

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“However, creating such a plan without access to relevant data is challenging, if not impossible.

“Our (REA) presence at the event was to ensure its sustainability and ability to achieve its strategic objectives, with a comprehensive electrification plan being a vital part of that,” he said.

The acting CEO further praised the inaugural OSEAS as a novel initiative, and that the REA is keen to key into the initiative.

“We will work with you to make sure that we move our developers from being ordinary developers to being Renewable Energy Service Providers that will have utility-scale portfolios to help us bridge this gap as quickly as possible.”

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The presentations and panel discussions spotlighted several open-source tools including Ukama, which ensures dependable internet connectivity alongside energy access efforts; Autarky, which helps mini-grid operators optimise sizing and dispatch strategies effectively even in volatile environments; The FAIR battery project, which provides open-source battery assembly designs to support a clean energy shift for remote, under-resourced areas.;

It also spotlighted the Energy Access Explorer (EAE), which is the first tool to use an open source, data-driven integrated, and inclusive approach to energy planning; and the Off-Grid Planner Tool which supports mini-grid infrastructure planning.

According to the organisers, this symposium will be the first of many to bring stakeholders together and stimulate interest, collaboration, and financing to develop open-source tools that drive energy access in Africa.

“The symposium was a giant leap forward in harnessing the power of open-source for a more sustainable and equitable energy future,” they said.

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Established in 2017, The EnAccess Foundation is a nonprofit that funds the development of open-source solutions for the energy access industry. It focuses on sharing open-source hardware, software, and toolkit solutions that save energy access organizations time and money, to accelerate progress towards SDG7.

Meanwhile, WRI uses research-based approaches to protect and restore nature; stabilise the climate, and build resilient communities. The institute aims to fundamentally transform the way the world produces and uses food and energy and design its cities to create a better future for all.