Today, the World Bank launched energydata.info, an initiative that addresses the global data gap in the energy sector. Energydata.info gathers over 180 highly curated datasets with a special focus on data from developing economies. The datasets range from grid infrastructure and energy resource potential, to household data that provides insight into energy demand.

More than 2 billion people around the world have no, or only intermittent, access to electricity. Small scale and off-grid initiatives are transforming the energy sector and have great potential to solve the access gap, especially in developing economies. These small-scale initiatives require high quality, hyper-local data. Such data makes small-scale energy more viable by allowing energy companies to plan operations and raise funding, investors to accurately consider investment options, and policy makers understand where their interventions can generate most impact.

The World Bank’s energy group recognizes that this challenge can’t be solved by a single data drop by a single organization. They have put together an impressive and growing consortium of data partners. The team behind energydata.info is actively curating data, making sure that the datasets are relevant and represent the best in class. By publishing the data under the right open licenses, they ensure that the data can be adopted without hesitation by both the public and private sector.

The technology behind energydata.info bolsters their active approach to data. Energydata.info is not a portal. We don’t expect users to merely find and download a static dataset, but to plug into a stream of data and analysis tools. Data can be accessed programmatically in web friendly formats like Vector Tiles. This allows us and other partners to develop applications directly on top of the platform. Energydata.info is built using entirely open source tools like CKAN. We look forward to seeing how the data evolves and how others imagine new ways to use the data.

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