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Jharkhand: Energy Access Explorer launched in state

Ranchi: While India has achieved nearly 100% household electrification, many crucial public infrastructures like healthcare and educational facilities continue to be impacted due to lack of access to a reliable, sustainable, and affordable power connections. While the departments of energy, health, education, and livelihoods have been trying to address these problems at sectoral level, there is an urgent need to understand the links between them and to adopt an integrated approach to solve some of these challenges.

Access to electricity is a pre-requisite to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of good health, quality education, clean water, sanitation and eventually, socio-economic development.

To help understand these links and to develop inferences from these datasets, World Resource Institute (WRI), India has developed the Energy Access Explorer (EAE) platform, an online, interactive platform that aims to bring together geospatial data from development and electricity sectors to support decision making. EAE is an opensource, digital, live data platform that has been created by the WRI at a global scale, it said in a statement. “It leverages the power of satellite imagery combined with local data to visualize power supply and demand, and equips electricity planners, investors and clean energy entrepreneurs with the data they need to close the access gap,” it added.

Uttara Narayan, who is leading the EAE initiative in WRI India said, “Data is only as good as the needs of the users that it aims to cater to. It is important to recognise that data will be a dynamic, on-going conversation involving various kinds of stakeholders. Good data needs to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the people.”

KK Verma, Director JREDA and Executive Director, JBVNL (state discom), who launched the platform, said, “We cannot do anything without data. TV says data is stronger than dollar. D for Dollar – D for data. It gives me immense happiness to launch this platform today. Brainstorming cannot happen without an IT platform. I am happy that WRI India has developed key data platform informing us of the state’s energy data.”

Bishnu Parida, Chief Operating Officer, JSLPS (Government of Jharkhand) stressed that WRI India to expand the data from energy, health, and education infrastructure along with rivers and canal network that farmers use for irrigation purposes.