Welcome to agrodem user’s guide!

Achieving universal electricity access by 2030 will require a rapid increase in the rate of new connections and in levels of investment, particularly in countries with low level of access to electricity. The challenge is significant. Designing and selecting the optimal electrification approach requires access to reliable data and information regarding electricity resource availability, demand levels, economic activity and functional infrastructure to name a few.

The paucity of such information may hamper electrification progress. However, this situation is gradually being improved with the increasing availability of new data and analytical tools, especially in the field of geospatial analysis. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques are becoming openly available and can now provide a range of location-specific information that has not been previously accessible. Take for example the field of agriculture, where data is rapidly approaching the scale of ‘big data’. They can provide farm stakeholders with spatial and temporal information about climate and local weather, soil conditions, crop quality, field biodiversity, and crop yields.

Inclusion of agricultural electricity demand can enhance the richness of the geospatial electrification planning process. To date, demand estimation has typically depended on measurement of population density and an assumed average residential demand. On occasion, this is augmented by including some types of productive loads (e.g. large industrial or mining loads). However, existing and potential demand for electricity from activities related to agriculture and agro-business, is missed usually not included.

This document presents an analytical and spatially explicit approach for estimating aspects of electricity requirements related to agricultural activities; namely irrigation and few selected post-harvest activities. The underlying work has been a collaborative effort between Vivid Economics and KTH Royal Institute of Technology and is part of a multi-year ESMAP-funded project - Geospatial Electrification Planning in the Africa Region (P165617) - aiming to facilitate the execution of geospatial electrification planning activities in various sub-Saharan African countries.

The following sections provide a brief overview of this approach with indicative examples for the main processes included and links to the code developed to implement those processes in an open and reproducible way.