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.
The new online session, to be held between 29th April and 5th May 2021, will focus on Module 2: Decentralized Renewable Energy Site Selection and Engineering.
Due to the current circumstances, it will be held online through video lectures for about of 3-4 hours each day, and will be possibly complemented by a remote-managed field visit at St. Kizito’s mini-grid facility or Strathmore Solar Energy Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
Solarkiosk will select the most promising African off-grid energy Start-Ups and offer them the following to get funded:
Source: Solar Kiosk
The Universal Energy Facility, a results-based financing facility managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), has now opened a new window of financing for mini-grid projects in Benin.
The Benin window of the Universal Energy Facility is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
As of 28 January 2021, companies seeking results-based finance for mini-grid projects in Benin can apply for pre-qualification to the facility. In Benin, the Universal Energy Facility will disburse grant payments to deliver over 7,000 electricity connections based on a results-based incentive of USD 433 per connection.
The opening of the facility in Benin is the next step in SEforALL’s push for catalysing faster progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) through results-based financing. In October 2020, the facility opened to support mini-grid projects in Sierra Leone and Madagascar.
“A paradigm shift to results-based financing models can help put the world on track to achieve universal electrification and clean cooking access,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.