Supporting Ethiopian access to energy

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$180mn in additional financing to the Government of Ethiopia in support of its efforts to provide adequate and cost effective electricity supply and rapidly scale up electricity coverage and access for all its citizens.

The Additional Financing aims at scaling-up certain components of the Energy Access Project which seeks to expand access to electricity and improve the quality and adequacy of power supply; improve energy end-use efficiency, developing renewable energy resources; and strengthen institutional capacity. The global objective would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas as a portion of diesel used for power generation and kerosene for lighting would be displaced by the renewable energy.

The total number of electricity consumers in Ethiopia increased from 700,000 to 1.87mn, over the life of this project so far. The Energy Access Project has played a substantial role in achieving this result. Even with this high growth in consumer connection, at present only 14 per cent of Ethiopia’s population are directly connected in the Electricity network. Thus about 86 per cent of its population is living and working without access to modern energy, which severely restricts social and economic development. It is the objective of the World Bank and the Government of Ethiopia to radically change this situation.

The Energy Access project is rehabilitating the distribution network in Addis Ababa. This will significantly improve the reliability and capacity of the Addis Ababa network. The project work is nearing completion in about 68 villages where it will connect about 120,000 consumers. The project has also started implementing its renewable energy component and so far has installed 300 Photovoltaic (PV) systems in Schools and Health Posts, benefiting about 3,000 people. The project further supported manufacturing, training, and disseminating improved cooking stoves and so far more than a million stoves have been installed in rural areas.

The additional financing of US$180mn provided for the Energy Access project will support:
(i) upgrading the distribution network of seven major cities along with Addis Ababa.
(ii) expanding access to 50 new villages.
(iii) evaluating and appraising the geothermal resource in Aluto Langano.
(iv) providing technical assistance and capacity building of the sector entities.
Under the project a total of about 700,000 consumers are expected to be connected with the network in both urban and rural areas.

“The Energy Access project has expanded electricity access to a large number of rural and small town dwellers on a sustainable basis, and supported income-generating activities made possible by the new power supply,” said Raihan Elahi, the World Bank’s project Task Team Leader.

The project will continue to be implemented by the implementation agencies of the original Energy Access Project, namely the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation and the Ethiopia Renewable Energy Promotion and Development Center.

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