To understand the extent and distribution of demand for electrification in rural Sabah, the SabahRE2 Team spent 2021 gathering information from government partners, District Officers, community networks and field visits to attempt to identify and map every village in Sabah that is off the state grid and without quality 24-hour electricity supply. As of January 2022 that list runs at 400 villages (with a total of 120,000 residents), plus around 100 other villages that we are still seeking to verify. For an account of how this Demand Map was created see here.
The Demand Map includes all settlements in the state, whether or not they are legally recognised by the Government of Sabah. The Project Portfolio (currently 206 villages) and the 35 mini-grid Feasibility Studies are focused on government-recognised communities.
We call the Demand Map villages “un-electrified”, but it turns out that there is some electricity in nearly all of them, mostly due to family efforts, though there are also villages with government, private sector or NGO projects that have provided some electricity access. Field studies found that 89% of un-electrified villages have at least one diesel generator, with an average of 15.7 generators a village; meanwhile half such villages have some solar power, mostly for individual lighting and hand phone charging. However, villagers report that their existing power sources are unreliable, inadequate for major appliances (like refrigeration), expensive, and available only for part of the time. On a given day we found 60-86% of villages have less than six hours of power/day.
Forever Sabah’s Spatial Planning for Conservation, Sustainable Economic Development and Society (SPaCES) Team have mapped the un-electrified villages across Sabah on interactive Google Earth satellite imagery, adding layers for district boundaries, streams and rivers, topography and predicted renewable energy potential. Since grid extension and enterprise development are dependent upon road access we have produced a layer that seeks to provide a first comprehensive map of Sabah’s road network, including gravel and earth/village and logging roads. We have also created a digital layer for the existing and planned electrical transition and distribution grid, not including last mile and underground/sea cable.
Our interactive Demand Map format enables the viewer to select which layers they require and to work at any scale down from state-wide to the individual village.
This Demand Map is a living resource that will be constantly updated with the latest information available. Therefore, we are inviting readers to let us know if we have missed or misunderstood any community without adequate electricity or any other the data presented in these maps.