The Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and WRI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding around a novel data-driven, integrated approach to achieving universal access to energy services.

WRI collaborated with the Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility Program (ACE-TAF), government agencies and numerous stakeholders to develop an online, open-source, interactive, dynamic information system that enables data-driven decision-making in the cross sectoral energy-for-development space. Using spatial data to link energy supply with growing or unmet demand in Nigeria is essential to gaining a better picture of energy access and expanding energy services to those who need it most.

REA and WRI are conducting energy data analytics to identify high-priority areas for expanding REA’s interventions and access to energy services. Other stakeholders are also able to benefit from this collaboration as it enables:  

  1. The expansion of clean energy markets: Technology suppliers (whether mini grid developers or solar home system providers) may get a better understanding of affordability and the level of service needed.
  2. Impact investment: Donors and development finance institutions can identify areas where grants and support will have the most impact.
  3. Bottom-up assessment of energy needs: Development organizations in the health, education and agriculture sectors can estimate energy needs associated with development services.

Beyond actionable data and analytics, this partnership involves the development of a dynamic geographic information system and data repository, which reduces software engineering and data transaction costs for both data providers and users. Its unique back-end infrastructure comes with an easy-to-navigate Content Management System and allows administrative users with limited or no GIS and programming expertise to add data and metadata in a simple manner.

“We are pleased to have facilitated this support to REA, and to see the collaboration between WRI and REA in improving energy access planning for off-grid solar delivery in Nigeria. REA  — through its initiatives and efforts — has significantly scaled energy access delivery to communities across the country, and this will improve these efforts and attract further investment to the sector.”- Chibuikem Agbaegbu, Country Manager, Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility Program

“We at REA are delighted with the work done with WRI on Energy Data Analytics. During our engagements with the WRI team, it became clear the various use cases for simplifying off-grid planning for stakeholders and the ease for project development. We intend to expand the work done and use it for better project conceptualization and efficient project development.”-REA

“Adopting an integrated, inclusive, data-driven approach to planning for the expansion of energy services is going to be fundamental for the achievement of SDG 7 and other development outcomes. Through energy data and analytics, WRI is eager to support REA’s efforts to scale and deliver its implementation strategy.”- Jennifer Layke, Global Director, Energy Program, World Resources Institute

What’s Next?

To ensure the ongoing success of the Energy Data and Analytics initiative in Nigeria, experts from REA have established a working group to oversee technical updates, manage user access and ensure metadata documentation. Additionally, teams at REA and WRI will identify opportunities to use energy data analytics on an ongoing basis, including cross-sectoral initiatives to promote productive use of energy in agriculture, health and other sectors. Finally, WRI is committed to ongoing technical support and capacity-building activities in Nigeria to ensure the success of this initiative as REA’s dynamic energy database and analytical platform.