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,
New Wind project (120MW) is in the construction stage in addition to the already commissioned (324MW) power plants built by the state utility. More wind farms are also in the pipeline,
The IPP based geothermal project is progressing in good faith,
NES and NEP are set to see 100% access to electricity by 2025, planned to reach 65% of the population with the grid and 35% through off-grid solutions,
Pilot mini-grid solutions are being implemented by the utility, EEU, with BT basis as laid out in NEP2.0 with a potential scale up during the NEP2.0 implementation period,
PPP agreements were made for T&D investments in addition to the T&D expansions through EPC business models,
Few PAYGo solar pilots were implemented and the pilots proved the huge potential if targeted incentives are made,
Smaller standalone solar systems are wide spread given the declining cost, simplicity of distribution and the high demand in the rural population, providing 11% of basic access to electricity,
In spite of the positive signals, there are areas too demanding further action:
There is no sufficient regulatory clarity on deployment of off grid solutions (including off grid tariff) although NEP2.0 wishes to engage the private sector in the off grid access program,
The willingness and ability to pay data is not publicly available nor does a clear intervention program,
Grid Tariff adjustment was made in December 2018 and is planned to be adjusted every year for the coming four years with an intention of reaching a gradual cost recovery. Impact of the tariff adjustment on consumers, investment, the government and the utility is not sufficiently evaluated,
The fragmented initiatives and programs being implemented to address the most laggard energy access program of access to modern cooking services to reach the 97% of the population who still does not have it are not sufficient,
Financing the programs, limited institutional capability, inefficient bureaucracy, gender gaps, low jobs creation and intra low digital systems adoption are still some of the common characteristics of the energy market despite the government’s commitment and the huge market potential.
To have an overall picture of the reform progress of the energy sector in Ethiopia, I encourage you to continue to read
Assessment of Ethiopian Energy and Power Business Updates from Policy to Implementation, October 2019
For More read
#2 Ways to Minimize the Currency and Land Related Concerns for Public Private Partnership, PPP, projects in Ethiopia(More So in Africa)?