They say 'Necessity' is the mother of 'Invention' and 'Opportunity' is its father.
(Vivien Foster, 2019), Rethinking Power Sector Reform in the Developing World report suggests that future power sector reforms should be shaped by context, driven by outcomes, and informed by alternatives with a clear departure from the normative 1990s power sector reform prescription which comprised a package of four structural reforms: Regulation (through the creation of an autonomous regulatory entity); Restructuring (entailing corporatization and full vertical and horizontal unbundling of the utility); Private sector participation (particularly in generation and distribution); Competition (ultimately in the form of a wholesale power market).
(AfDB, 2019), Revisiting Reforms in the Power Sector in Africa, asserts that the power sector in Africa still largely retains the traditional integrated monopoly utility structure, although many have included IPPs, despite the standard model Prescription of the reform targeting all segments of the power sector value-chain in Africa, and in very different ways pointing that the standard model reforms generally did not prioritize social and political goals of expanding access to electricity and clean energy sources, nor improving equity or affordability conditions.
Ethiopia being among the laggards in terms of implementing the standard policy prescription, it has taken the first few steps including setting up an independent regulator and vertically unbundling the state monopoly in to two separate utilities since the beginning of 2013. The reform process continues to unfold albeit a slow and cautious pace.
Driven by the ongoing economic and the energy sector reforms, the Ethiopian energy and power sectors have become attractive to private sector investment. Generation side independent power producers including geothermal and utility scale solar projects are being introduced, currently just passing the stage of a financial close, with lots of expectation to follow by other forms of generation technologies such as in hydro and wind. There are also a few PPP based examples in the transmission side albeit at an early stage.
Historically, the energy and power sector infrastructure development in Ethiopia has been dominated by public sector investment where the responsibility of communities and key stakeholders rested on the shoulders of the government. The private sector has been engaged mainly in consulting and contracting scope of works with minimum direct responsibility of engaging the wider community.
At the same time, until very recently, the communities buy in to the government’s aspiration of building infrastructure for a larger public good as opposed to the individual and communal loses they incur whether loss of their land, environmental safety concerns, disruption of their social constructs and etc. and despite incomparably lower (as compared to current market prices) compensations in place, the broken promises and the slow bureaucratic procedures they often faced. It is no more the same.
Note: the 2nd round of the tariff adjustment is in force since December of 2019
The Ethiopian Electric Utility made an adjustment to the Electricity/energy tariff applicable since the beginning of December 2018. The Electricity/energy tariff is one of the key factors that determine the investment decision of private players in the power sector of countries. After such a long delay, the utility has finally made a decision and increased the tariff as indicated in the tables below.
Apart from the increase of the rate, there is also a clear distinction between the old and the new tariff calculations in the residential category. Historically, the tariff used to be non-flat or an increasing rate. The new tariff is set in a block or flat range and will have major cost implication for the consumers. In the new tariff of the residential category, the energy in KWH is multiplied with the tariff block where the monthly energy figure rests.