From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

In a move to advance data-driven decision-making in the energy sector, energy access experts, open source developers, researchers, and donors from around the globe convened in Abuja recently for the inaugural Open Source in Energy Access Symposium (OSEAS).

Organised by the EnAccess Foundation and the World Resources Institute (WRI), with support from the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the three-day program provided a platform for participants to share experiences, exchange knowledge, and delve into the potential of open source technologies to enhance energy access in critical areas.

With attendees from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States of America, the event included keynote addresses and panel discussions with distinguished speakers such as Abba Aliyu, Acting Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), and Michael Ivenso, Director of Energy, Transportation, and Infrastructure at the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).

Speaking at the event, Mr Aliyu said that the Federal Minister of Power had directed the REA to prioritise the development of an electrification plan. He highlighted the challenge of creating such a plan without access to crucial data, stating that REA’s participation in the event aimed to secure sustainability and strategic goal achievement, with an essential focus on establishing a comprehensive electrification plan.

Mr Aliyu further praised the inaugural Open Source in Energy Access Symposium as a very novel initiative, adding that the agency is keen to key into the initiative.

He said: “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.”

Related News

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 optimize sizing and dispatch strategies effectively even in volatile environments.

Others were; the FAIR battery project, which provides open-source battery assembly designs to support a clean energy shift for remote, under-resourced areas.; Energy Access Explorer (EAE), which is the first tool to use an open source, data-driven integrated and inclusive approach to energy planning; as well as the Off-Grid Planner Tool which supports mini-grid infrastructure planning.

During the hackathon, participants ideated on solutions and received prizes for their problem-solving.

The symposium, according to the organisers, 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 stated

Established in 2017, the EnAccess Foundation is a nonprofit that funds the development of open-source solutions for the energy access industry, while WRI specialises in using research-based approaches, to protect and restore nature, stabilise the climate and build resilient communities. It fundamentally aims to transform the way the world produces and uses food and energy and designs its cities to create a better future for all.

VERIFIED: Nigerians (home & diaspora) can now be paid in US Dollars. Earn up to $17,000 (₦27 million) with premium domains. Click here to start