Financing Secured for Establishment of 20 Solar Mini-grids in Ethiopia

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Financing has been secured for the establishment of 20 solar mini-grid projects in Ethiopia. The funds were secured by the Ethiopian government from the World Bank. The solar mini-grids will be located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s (SNNP) region, as well as in the Amhara, Somali, Oromia, and Sidama regions.

Distributed Electricity and Lighting in Ethiopia (ADELE) program will be used to spearhead the project.

Hitherto, the Ethiopian Electric Utility has propelled tender for the construction of 20 projects. Interested developers have until Aug. 15 to submit their proposals. Bidding will be conducted through international competitive procurement using a Request for Bids (RFB) selection method.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Ethiopia had just 21 MW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2022. With an estimated population of around 110 million, landlocked Ethiopia has around 4.5 GW of power generation capacity at present – most of it hydropower.

The total estimated capacity of the systems is 8 MW, with the projects varying in size from 0.5 MW to 1.5 MW.

Also Read: Enel consortium wins 100MW Ethiopia solar tender

Expectations of the 20 solar mini-grids to the Ethiopia economy

The initiative will grant access to renewable energy especially that generated from solar mini-grids, to people living in remote areas. It will help improve the quality of life of the people as they will be able to use energy without any disruption or short supply, and it will also improve the overall infrastructure of the country.

Importantly, the solar mini-grid projects will create jobs and stimulate economic activity in rural areas. Additionally, the availability of energy will improve access to technology and resources, thus driving local development. Moreover, it will reduce dependency on unreliable, non-renewable forms of energy and help to reduce emissions.

Importantly, the solar mini-grids will create a more resilient and secure energy system in the country.  Therefore, the solar mini-grids will reduce energy insecurity and improve infrastructure that is critical for economic development.