In collaboration with the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering (UoE) and The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERII), BOXARR is embarking on an ambitious project to produce an effective "decision support system" for renewable energy investment in emerging economies.
In many developing countries, local decision-makers at the city or district level have a crucial role in meeting sustainable development goals, including 'clean energy' and 'sustainable cities'. If they fail to propose and enact effective regulation and policy, these sustainable development goals will not be met, and countries will not be able to meet their Paris Agreement obligations. However, local decision-makers often do not have the capacity or technical knowledge to make sense of the complex systems in which they operate and the evidence that is available to them to make decisions. In industry, decision-makers have adopted decision support systems, which can analyse and visualise complex systems to give insights and optimise decisions. In this project, we will investigate how BOXARR can be used to empower local policymakers to optimally use the information available to them in order to further sustainable energy development.
We will be focusing on the city of Surat in Gujarat, India, which is starting a rooftop solar energy program, and work with council-level decision-makers to develop a Proof of Concept for a decision support system based on the BOXARR platform. This BOXARR model will be populated with data on the technical and economic parameters of, and constraints on, solar energy and its alternatives available, assist local users, and evaluate the effectiveness and scalability of this technology and its practical, technical, and social constraints. This will enable local stakeholders to evaluate options and provide Surat with clean energy and a sustainable city at the lowest cost, but more importantly, it will generate knowledge about the use for and constraints on evidence-based decision support systems to local decision-makers in developing countries; paving the way for future extensions of this technology to other areas, cities and countries.