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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(9), 711;

Using VIIRS Day/Night Band to Measure Electricity Supply Reliability: Preliminary Results from Maharashtra, India

The Department of Geography, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
The Department of Earth & Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
The Department of Economics, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Prayas Energy Group, Maharashtra, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Bailang Yu, Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
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Unreliable electricity supplies are common in developing countries and impose large socio-economic costs, yet precise information on electricity reliability is typically unavailable. This paper presents preliminary results from a machine-learning approach for using satellite imagery of nighttime lights to develop estimates of electricity reliability for western India at a finer spatial scale. We use data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar Partnership (SNPP) satellite together with newly-available data from networked household voltage meters. Our results point to the possibilities of this approach as well as areas for refinement. With currently available training data, we find a limited ability to detect individual outages identified by household-level measurements of electricity voltage. This is likely due to the relatively small number of individual outages observed in our preliminary data. However, we find that the approach can estimate electricity reliability rates for individual locations fairly well, with the predicted versus actual regression yielding an R2 > 0.5. We also find that, despite the after midnight overpass time of the SNPP satellite, the reliability estimates derived are representative of daytime reliability. View Full-Text
Keywords: electricity; economic development; VIIRS; nighttime lights electricity; economic development; VIIRS; nighttime lights

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mann, M.L.; Melaas, E.K.; Malik, A. Using VIIRS Day/Night Band to Measure Electricity Supply Reliability: Preliminary Results from Maharashtra, India. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 711.

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