The full-scale impact of the conflict in Tigray is yet to be uncovered. However, it gets concerning for every sensible individual as time goes by. My only hope is that we all reach out to those at risk of starvation and health related emergencies to control and minimize the humanitarian damage.
Among others, this conflict clearly exposes the often lightly-discussed topic: Energy Security not just in Tigray but throughout the country more so in the urban centers. Leaving who takes responsibility to history, I cannot imagine staying in the dark for a quarter of a year after being fully dependent on grid power for almost every livelihood activity. During this testing time in Tigray, in most instances, no power directly translates to no water, no cooking, no grinding mills, no communication, no medication, no public services and many other basic needs. Worse, probably no kerosene or diesel fuel alternatives either due to the transport access limitation. Apparently, no basic light in towns even the dirty one throughout until the utility restored the grid supply. As I write this note, Humera and Welkait areas remain in the dark, and the utility just announced restoring the grid supply to Axum, Shire and the neighboring towns well behind Mekele areas.
As someone who has been working in the transmission, distribution and substation infrastructures, I am equally concerned to the safety and hardship the utility personnels and men in uniform have to go through to bring the badly needed power supply in such a dramatic speed.
After being resistive for energy security calls, Ethiopia realized the vulnerability of its hydro dependent grid when faced with climate induced droughts (happening every now and then), and there has been a relative policy changes to diversify the energy mix through complementary investments of geothermal, wind and solar resources. Yet, the current situation in Tigray is another indicator that the energy security is still at stake and it is in the country's best interest to reform the energy sector further; Putting decentralized/distributed energy solutions at the core.
Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), dubbed Ethiopian-German Energy Cooperation, organized an Innovation Competition on “Decentralised Energy Solutions for Ethiopia’’ launching event. There will be an official launch of the Energy Cooperation Website as well.
The virtual official launch is scheduled for 01 SEPTEMBER 2020.
With a goal of Mobilising Entrepreneurs and Researchers in Decentralised Energy Solutions for Ethiopia’’ the key topics of the discussion includes
Source: Press Release/ GIZ
You can apply on the Ethiopian-German Energy Cooperation website
Serving more than 5,000 customers and operating from 37 sales points in five regions of Ethiopia including Somali, Amhara, Gambella, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) and with a plan to expand in two more regions, Hello solar, a solar energy solutions distributor in Ethiopia operating on a Pay-as-you-go model using HelloCash mobile money service provider as the payment solution, has shared the learning experience in its March 2020 report.
Key report highlights,
Ongoing innovation in technology and distribution models continues to be a hallmark of the off-grid solar sector. Having already led to hundreds of millions of people benefitting from off-grid solar products ranging from lanterns to solar home systems (SHS), products are now developing along the sector’s newest frontier – productive uses leveraging solar energy (PULSE). These can provide livelihoods for off-grid households and micro-enterprises across the agricultural, industrial, commercial, and public sectors.
A market for these new applications is emerging, and is explored in our new report, “The Market Opportunity for Productive Use Leveraging Solar Energy (PULSE) in Sub-Saharan Africa.” This report provides an overview of the market for PULSE micro-applications, which can be powered by standalone solar systems of one kilowatt or less. We narrowed the scope to products that largely overlap in size with the off-grid household solar sector in order to explore the opportunity to catalyse growth in the PULSE market and produce similar results to those achieved by Lighting Global’s country programs. The micro-PULSE segment represents a natural extension for off-grid manufacturers and suppliers that have achieved great success in expanding energy access in rural areas. Geographically, the focus of the report is on sub-Saharan Africa with a deeper dive on Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Cote d’Ivoire. It seeks to inform the strategy of industry, government, and development actors and to catalyze the market for PULSE solutions across Africa.