SEMINAR: Examining Electricity Access and Reliability in Kenya to Develop an Alternative Vision for Smart Grids

SEMINAR: Examining Electricity Access and Reliability in Kenya to Develop an Alternative Vision for Smart Grids

Seminar Abstract 

Advances in metering, information technology, semiconductors, and more are leading tremendous innovation in creating more intelligent electricity grids. Coupled with policies to address climate change and achieve universal electricity access, the delivery of electricity is poised to change more in the next decade than it has in the last century. In this talk, I will discuss two ongoing research collaborations with Kenya Power, the distribution utility in Kenya. First, I will share work on predicting the growth in electricity consumption for customers who have never before had a connection. Second, I will introduce GridWatch, a system for discovering power outages immediately, automatically, and with no additional hardware, built with the developing world in mind. From these projects and other observations, we will examine the surprising implications for the development of smart grids in sub-Saharan Africa.

Seminar Speaker(s) 

Jay Taneja
Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jay Taneja is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, having started in January 2017. He develops and studies applications of sensing and communications technology on the measurement and control of infrastructure systems in the developing and developed world. Prior to joining UMass, he was a Research Scientist leading the Energy team at the IBM Research - Africa lab in Nairobi, Kenya, from 2013 to 2016. There, he focused on developing technology to improve electricity reliability and access in sub-Saharan Africa. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science at the University of California - Berkeley, where for his dissertation work, he built and studied supply-following electricity loads that change electricity consumption to match fluctuations of increasingly renewable electricity supplies. He earned his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University.


Jul 6, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm