Making use of vast energy potential – including solar, wind, and geothermal – and a grid that is nearly 100% supplied by renewable sources, Ethiopia is undertaking an ambitious project to achieve universal electricity access by 2025. In fact, not only is Ethiopia emerging as a role model for energy development in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is doing so while spearheading innovations on gender equality.
In 2018, the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) set itself the bold task of ensuring that women are better-represented in what has been an overwhelmingly male-dominated sector. Today, women represent 20% of the utility’s workforce. EEU wants that figure to reach 30% within five years and has a long-term vision of achieving gender equality across the institution.
“Women make up 50% of society. For our utility to be effective in its corporate objective, we need to create an enabling environment for both men and women,” said EEU Chief Executive Officer Ato Shiferaw Telila. “This means creating awareness among our senior management, middle management and engineers, of the benefits of having a conducive environment for all.”
The Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Energy launched a new road map that aims at boosting the country’s power supply by four-fold from its current generating capacity. While having a capacity of generating 40,000MW to 50,000MW of electric power, the country only generates 4,400MW from water and other renewable energy sources, according to the Ministry.
The 10-year energy road map aims at expanding the power-generating ability of Ethiopia and to meet the demand, according to Frehiwot Weldehana (PhD), state minister for Water, Irrigation & Energy. The current 20,000Km of electric line coverage will be upgraded to 34,000Km, while the existing 204 electric distribution stations will expand to 256, according to the road map. Ethiopia will also generate 20,000MW of energy at the end of the 10 years, of which 14,000MW will come from hydro, while 1,700MW, 900MW and 2,000MW will be generated from solar, geothermal and wind sources, respectively.
Following the reform program begun in 2013 including the liberalization of the generation sector, establishment of an independent regulator, unbundling (vertical) of the state power utility and enacting of a public private partnership law, the energy sector has made a fair share of its own version( in contrast to the standard power sector reform model) of reform progress in Ethiopia.
In addition to the ongoing hydro based investments/constructions still taking place ( GERD, Genale, Koisha being the few examples), key mile stones are also being made in new technologies and business models albeit a slow pace and rigor.
Utility scale ((1* 100MW, 2*125MW) solar projects have been awarded to IPP developers and few more are in the tendering stage,
Ethiopia Launched a revised national electrification plan at a power summit held from 27-29 March 2019 in Addis Ababab, Ethiopia. The comprehensive program document explains the detailed targets the country intends to achieve and the staged approaches to be used for a universal electricity access coverage by 2025.
Source: Africa Energy Forum 2019
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