Community Energy Toolkit (COMET)

Simulation software for assessing electricity demand to optimize solar mini-grid design.

Past and Current Partners

Innovate UK's Energy Catalyst Accelerator Programme

Active Countries
Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Somaliland, India
Thematic area(s)
Proprietary hardware/software.
Organisation Name
Energy Action Partners

The Problem

Over 770 million people worldwide are still without modern energy access, most of whom are in rural and remote locations. Unfortunately, the mini-grid sector currently faces persistent challenges around slow demand growth, low revenue, and misalignment of end-user expectations; resulting in underperforming mini-grids and high uncertainty of project bankability. The absence of effective tools to assess and mitigate demand-side risks is a major impediment to scaling up investment and achieving universal energy access.

The Solution

Community Energy Toolkit (COMET) is an interactive, simulation-based software for exploring and assessing electricity demand and customer-side risk. COMET is deployed through community-based workshops to generate high-resolution data on end-user demand, appliance usage, and revenue under multiple design scenarios. Investors and project developers use COMET to optimize mini-grid design and comprehensively assess and mitigate demand-side risks to improve system design, save costs, and increase end-user satisfaction and buy-in.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Working with local partners such as mini-grid developers, operators or energy access practitioners to determine a community site (or multiple sites) where COMET is needed for (1) demand estimation or assessment, (2) community capacity building and training, and/or (3) a better understanding of community energy needs and priorities
  • Step 2: Training local partners on the use of COMET
  • Step 3: Local partners deploy COMET in their communities (sometimes with COMET's direct involvement)
  • Step 4: COMET results and outcomes are analysed and organised into action plans
  • Step 5: Local partners share action plans or implement them with communities, which typically take the form of improved system design and development, or improved management or operations.Communities are also better trained to manage their individual energy use and are able to take better advantage of their energy access
Digital X Solution Community Energy Toolkit (COMET)

Bridging the digital divide

The COMET tool was developed to enable and facilitate the inclusion and participation of rural, underserved communities in the development and implementation of their energy systems. The tool is highly graphical and intuitive and has been successfully deployed in low literacy populations with limited exposure to digital or smart devices.

Impact and highlights

Increased end-user understanding and awareness (reported) of individual and community energy use, and mini-grid operations and management in 14 communities in Malaysia (1,200 individuals), Myanmar (4,380 individuals), Somaliland (3,760 individuals) and Indonesia (490 individuals).

Plans for expansion

Planning to expand to Rwanda, Nepal and Uganda in the next six months. Key COMET deployment partners are Hivos Indonesia, Mercy Corps International, Smart Villages, and the Hydro Empowerment Network (HPNET).