The Ethiopian Electricity Company (EEU) has recently issued an invitation to tender for the deployment of solar-powered microgrids in 25 villages. For the first three months, each village will have a solar power plant, backup diesel generators, and battery storage, as well as operation and maintenance services.
Ethiopia has been working on ways to calculate electricity prices for mini-grids since this summer. The microgrid tender reflects the country’s efforts to stimulate the development of microgrids and enhance electricity supply in rural areas. Dufera, a senior adviser to the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said investors can apply whatever tariff scheme the government sets to their own projects.
The rural microgrid projects will be developed under the Ethiopian Electrification Project, which was launched in March 2018 and is supported by a $375 million World Bank loan. The level of poverty in the region is unimaginable, and according to the World Bank, the country still has the second largest energy supply gap in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria, and the third largest in the world, with 70% of the population still today. Living in the dark, only 24% of elementary schools and 30% of health centers in the country have access to electricity.
increase power supply
The first five years of electrification in the country are expected to require an investment of $1.5 billion. Through this project, implemented by the Ethiopian Ministry of Energy and the European Economic Union, the World Bank hopes to be able to supply electricity to all Ethiopians by 2025.
The country’s energy demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 10%, its population is about 110 million, and Ethiopia’s current generation capacity is only about 4.5 GW, most of which is hydropower, in this case, The government plans to implement more large-scale hydropower and renewable energy projects to meet an almost impossible goal of generating 17.3 GW of power by next year.
Ethiopia is currently supporting large-scale solar power generation by hosting two rounds of solar power projects with a view to obtaining 750 MW of photovoltaic power generation capacity.