Statistical correlation between monthly electric power consumption and VIIRS nighttime light

Jintang Lin, Wenzhong Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The nighttime light (NTL) imagery acquired from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) enables feasibility of investigating socioeconomic activities at monthly scale, compared with annual study using nighttime light data acquired from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS). This paper is the first attempt to discuss the quantitative correlation between monthly composite VIIRS DNB NTL data and monthly statistical data of electric power consumption (EPC), using 14 provinces of southern China as study area. Two types of regressions (linear regression and polynomial regression) and nine kinds of NTL with different treatments are employed and compared in experiments. The study demonstrates that: (1) polynomial regressions acquire higher reliability, whose average R square is 0.8816, compared with linear regressions, whose average R square is 0.8727; (2) regressions between denoised NTL with threshold of 0.3 nW/(cm2·sr) and EPC steadily exhibit the strongest reliability among the nine kinds of processed NTL data. In addition, the polynomial regressions for 12 months between denoised NTL with threshold of 0.3 nW/(cm2·sr) and EPC are constructed, whose average values of R square and mean absolute relative error are 0.8906 and 16.02%, respectively. These established optimal regression equations can be used to accurately estimate monthly EPC of each province, produce thematic maps of EPC, and analyze their spatial distribution characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Electric power consumption
  • Monthly
  • Nighttime light
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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