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Ethiopia launches 2nd National Electrification Program

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Addis Ababa, March 27, 2019 (FBC) –Ethiopia has launched the updated version of National Electrification Program (NEP 2.0).

The program was launched at ‘Africa Energy Forum: Off the Grid’ and ‘Regional Energy Co-operation Summit’ meeting kicked off in Addis Ababa today.

This is the first updated of the NEP, first launched at the end of 2017 with a programmatic framework for achieving universal access by 2025 with targets and timetables, roles and responsibilities of sector institutions, and a sector-wide approach for the coordination of activities and harmonization of sector planning for electrification.

In the NEP 2.0, the government provides an update on the progress achieved over the past year and provides a detailed framework for the integration of off-grid technologies with grid connectivity, leveraging on both public and private sector efforts for the achievement of 35 percent of off-grid access by 2025.

Scale-up of off-grid technologies entail both off-grid solar and mini-grids, and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) with the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) have already launched 12 mini-grid pilots across the country with potential for scale-up.

MoWIE will be joined by Ethiopian sector leaders and international experts to discuss the future of the bold sector reform program recently launched, including implementation of cost reflective tariff, further unbundling of generation and transmission, and performance improvement of sector institutions.

These measures also aim to further attract private sector participation and investments in renewable energy.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Karmen Tornius, Programme Manager for the East Africa conferences in Addis, said “This will be the first time the market has heard these announcements, so it’s an exciting time for Ethiopia’s energy sector.

“The country presents many unique investment opportunities with its rapidly growing economy and vast population. Coupled with a more open landscape for private investment, the potential is huge.”

Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, said “Addressing Ethiopia’s access deficit is vital to achieving the sustainable development goal towards global universal electrification by 2030.”

“The World Bank has been consistently supporting the government’s efforts towards integrating grid and off-grid electrification, strengthening the capacity of institutions, and broad-based sector reforms.”