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Beltu Site: EEU Micro-Grid Pilot Project

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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. 

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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.
 

To apply, complete the application form, uploading your CV, motivation letter and accepting our terms and conditions. In addition send and a notification email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

For more information, please refer to the full application pack on our website.

 

Deadline for applications: April 20th, 2021 at 10.00 East Africa Time
 
 
 
 
 
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The World Bank approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to support Ethiopia’s goal of achieving universal electricity access by 2025.

Over the past decade, the Government of Ethiopia has  made encouraging progress on its electrification program  and  expanded the grid network coverage to nearly 60 percent of towns and villages. Despite this progress, Ethiopia has the third largest energy access deficit in Sub-Saharan Africa with more than half the population still without access to reliable electricity especially in deep-rural areas which are dependent on biomass and kerosene. The electricity deficit in Ethiopia continues to exacerbate the poverty situation, preventing far too many people from fulfilling their basic socio-economic needs and limiting access to opportunity.

The Access to Distributed Electricity and Lighting in Ethiopia (ADELE) Project is an important component of Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program (NEP), which aims to strategically change direction from infrastructure development to the delivery of adequate, reliable and affordable electricity services with a vision to reach universal electrification by 2025. ADELE will focus on access to new and improved electricity services for households, smallholder farmers, commercial and industrial users, and social institutions in urban, peri-urban, rural, and deep-rural areas. The first phase of the NEP was supported by the World Bank-financed Ethiopia Electrification Program (ELEAP) approved in 2018.

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The leaders of Desert Technologies, a Saudi Arabia-based company, and pertinent bodies in Ethiopia have discussed ways to invest in renewable energy in Ethiopia.

The discussion was led by the Managing Director of the Company, Khalid Sharbatly, and Ethiopia’s representatives from the Ministry of Water, Electricity, and Energy, Electric Power, Investment Commission, and the Consulate Office in Jeddah.

The meeting followed the pre-investment field visit that the representatives of Desert Technologies had carried out last year in Addis Ababa.

The discussion mainly focused on exploring ways to establish testing sites in Ethiopia and employ various pieces of equipment that generate power from solar energy.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Water, Electricity, and Energy took the assignment to select three project sites while the company would look for financial resources before the signing of an MoU between the relevant bodies.

 

Source: Walta

 

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