Accurate intercensal estimates of energy access to track Sustainable Development Goal 7
Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA
2 Data-Pop Alliance, New York, USA
3 University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 23 November 2022
Published online: 9 December 2022
Intercensal estimates of access to electricity and clean cooking fuels at policy planning microregions in a country are essential for understanding their evolution and tracking progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 7. Surveys are prohibitively expensive to get such intercensal microestimates. Existing works, mainly, focus on electrification rates, make predictions at the coarse spatial granularity, and generalize poorly to intercensal periods. Limited works focus on estimating clean cooking fuel access, which is one of the crucial indicators for measuring progress towards SDG 7. We propose a novel spatio-temporal multi-target Bayesian regression model that provides accurate intercensal microestimates for household electrification and clean cooking fuel access by combining multiple types of earth-observation data, census, and surveys. Our model’s estimates are produced for Senegal for 2020 at policy planning microregions, and they explain 77% and 86% of variation in regional aggregates for electrification and clean fuels, respectively, when validated against the most recent survey. The diagnostic nature of our microestimates reveals a slow evolution and significant lack of clean cooking fuel access in both urban and rural areas in Senegal. It underscores the challenge of expanding energy access even in urban areas owing to their rapid population growth. Owing to the timeliness and accuracy of our microestimates, they can help plan interventions by local governments or track the attainment of SDGs when no ground-truth data are available.
Key words: Clean energy access / Gaussian processes / Earth-observation data / Sustainable Development Goals
© The Author(s) 2022
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