How satellite imagery and machine learning can help light up India

A new computer model proposes solutions to long-standing energy access problems in the developing world. By the Tata Center Universal Access team The Reference Electrification Model (REM), developed at MIT and Comillas University in Spain, determines the most cost-effective strategy to provide energy access in areas that lack it. Now we are collaborating with Development Seed to build modern mapping platforms that put this data in the hands of policymakers, energy planners, and entrepreneurs to better connect rural communities. The basic input data for REM are fuel costs, solar irradiance, grid extent and reliability, consumer demand and infrastructure costs. It then uses a deep learning-based computer vision system that our team developed to locate buildings in satellite imagery. With this infrastructure information and geodata, REM generates detailed engineering designs, providing…

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