Lessons From Kenya: How the Smart Grid in Sub-Saharan Africa Could Be Different

May 18

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Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Jay Taneja, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Advances in metering, information technology, semiconductors, and more are ushering in a tremendous era of innovation towards creating more intelligent electricity grids. Coupled with policies to address climate change and achieve universal electricity access, the delivery of electricity is poised to change more in the next decade than it has in the last century. In this talk, I will discuss two ongoing research collaborations with Kenya Power, the distribution utility in Kenya. First, I will introduce GridWatch, a system for discovering power outages immediately, automatically, and with no additional hardware, built with the developing world in mind. Second, I will share work on predicting the growth in electricity consumption for customers who have never before had a connection. From these projects and other observations, we will examine the surprising implications for the development of smart grids in sub-Saharan Africa.