Energy-intensive industries such as textiles, metal and cement are going to sign an agreement with the Ethiopian Energy Authority to control energy losses. To enact the new system, the Authority has drawn up a directive that will operationalise voluntary energy efficiency agreements. The directive is expected to be effective before the end of this month.
The Authority took experiences from eight countries in drawing up the draft, which awaits approval by the board next week, and worked with government entities such as the Ethiopia Electric Utility. Manufacturers with an annual consumption of at least 20GWh will be encouraged to enter into agreements with the Authority binding them to energy saving action plans to be met within a certain period. Failure to meet these targets will result in penalties based on estimates of their energy losses.
The Authority, established half a decade ago to regulate the energy sector, targets to put four-fifths of energy-intensive manufacturers across the country under such agreements by the end of 2021.
The regulation for this directive was approved last December by the Council of Ministers. A minimum energy performance standard for electrical motors has been in the process of introduction since last year, as well as measures to reduce power consumption. This directive is expected to be approved in a month, according to Zewge Worku, acting director of the Authority’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Department.
Manufacturers such as Horizon Addis Tyre Factory, which uses fuel for boilers to generate steam and direct electric power from the grid, believe this is a welcome beginning. “We have managed to reduce our losses by reducing high consumption equipment and old motors and idle running machinery,” says Ayele Yilma, technical manager at Horizon. The company reduced its fuel consumption by 34pc and electric loss by a fifth in the past six months. Still, the company consumes over twice as much fuel than international best practices recommend, according to Ayele. Horizon Addis has been consuming 700Kg of furnace oil for each tonne of cured tyres it produces to reduce it to 460Kg. It also used to have an electric loss of 2,000kWh a tonne of cured tyres, which was reduced to 1,600kWh in the reported period. “We are competing with well-established international manufacturers, thus the sustainable implementation of the directive for the nationwide benefit is crucial,” Getachew Abebe, plant manager of Horizon, said.
Tigabu Atalo, a power and energy consultant with over a decade of experience in the power industry, believes that flexibility is crucial to the process. “It is commendable that the Authority has chosen agreements, instead of imposing the same directives for all manufacturers,” he said. Tigabu also added that the enforcement of the directive needs transparent and genuine reporting, evaluation and monitoring systems from both parties as well as incentives for better performers to meet the minimum efficiency standard nationwide.