Energy Needs Assessment Toolkit

Conducting a needs assessment in Kenya.
Conducting a needs assessment in Kenya.

Providing organizations based in off-grid regions with the information and resources to design and implement programs that increase energy access in their communities. 


The need for off-grid energy solutions

Understanding the energy needs and market opportunities in the specific off-grid community or region is the first step for effectively selecting and implementing the solutions to meet a community's energy needs. D-Lab has developed the Energy Assessment Toolkit to guide organizations through the process of gathering the information in the following areas: 

  • Current energy access and expenditures
Aspirational energy needs
Existing supply chain
Community institutions and stakeholders (private sector, government, NGO) 

The Energy Assessment Toolkit is designed to guide local organizations through the process of gathering the information needed to make informed decisions about what technologies and business models are best suited to meet the specific needs in their community through market-based initiatives. This toolkit is designed for any organization that has an on­-the­-ground presence in an off­-grid community or region and has the ability to take action based on the opportunities identified. This community-­based assessment approach is not intended to replace studies that track energy access on a national level or to generate market intelligence reports for external organizations looking to expand their business or programs into new markets. 

The toolkit is designed to be modular so that the organization conducting the assessment can determine the scope and scale of the assessment, and consists of the following threes type of documents:

Video: The MIT D-Lab Energy Assessment Toolkit


Youtube ID

MIT D-Lab Energy Assessment Toolkit now available for download!

We have piloted this assessment process with organizations in Latin America, West Africa, and India. If you are interested in working with D-Lab to conduct an assessment of the energy needs and market opportunities in the off-grid community where you work or if you have feedback on the Energy Assessment Toolkit, please email Eric Verploegen.

Mercy Corps logo  D-Lab's Energy Assessment Toolkit was developed in partnership with Mercy Corps. For information on Mercy Corps' energy access programsemail Shanti Kleiman

Creative Commons Share Alike  The D-Lab Energy Assessment Toolkit by MIT D-Lab is open-source and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Eric Verploegen, MIT D-Lab Research Engineer