Sunday, September 14, 2014

GIZ plans major off-grid electricity project in Ethiopia

The project falls under the Energizing Development Program – a joint global initiative by Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, United Kingdom and Switzerland
World Bulletin/News Desk

As Ethiopia is constructing a multi-billion dollar dam project on the Nile among several power-generation projects, European partners are chipping in with an off-grid electrification project that aims to bring electricity to the country's rural areas.
“In the next three years, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) plans to facilitate electricity access for further 1.3 million people in rural areas of Ethiopia,” Hannes Utescher, head of GIZ Corporate Communications in Ethiopia, told Anadolu Agency.
The project, he said, falls under the Energizing Development Program – a joint global initiative by Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, United Kingdom and Switzerland.


The venture aims to help low-income households in off-grid areas gain sustainable access to modern energy services, which would also enable them to access education, communication and refrigeration among others, the GIZ official added.
The program is being implemented in the rural areas of the Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and Southern Ethiopian Peoples regions.
“To date, photovoltaic solar systems have been installed in more than 120 public-sector health centers and eight community centers which had no connection to the electricity grid,” Utescher said.
“They now provide access to modern energy services for more than three million people.”
Moreover, GIZ coordinated and trained more than 600 producers of energy-efficient cook stoves on marketing and production techniques. They have sold almost 750,000 stoves and more than 1.8 million people have benefited from these stoves.
"Using the [energy-efficient] stoves, an average household saves around 575 kilograms of firewood every year,” he said. “Also, four pilot micro-hydropower plants have been constructed in three villages in southern Ethiopia, which can provide up to 23,000 residents with electricity.”
The total budget expenditure of the German agency for off-grid electricity projects has amounted to 11.7 million euro since 2010, Utescher said.
All activities are implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, he added.
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