Mini-grid solutions to enhancing Ethiopia’s energy system

November 14, 2023


About 624km of mini-grid power will be generated, with more than 31,000 Ethiopians benefiting from access to electricity for lighting and cooking through a new Africa Mini-grid Programme (AMP) to be implemented in Ethiopia.

The AMP is also expected to boost productivity in agriculture, facilitate the urbanization process in the country, and also directly reduce 16,836 tonnes of CO2eq emission.

The Africa Mini-grids Program is a multifaceted energy solution for Ethiopia and 20 other African countries with a 45 million USD country-led technical assistance program funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The support to access to clean energy decreases costs, thereby increasing financial viability and promoting scaled-up commercial investment in renewable mini-grids. The focus will be on cost-reduction levers and innovative business models to benefit the end users.

On 7 November 2023 UNDP supported the Ministry of Water and Energy to conduct a  Mini-grid project inception workshop in Addis Ababa that brought together more than 30 experts, including the regional representatives of key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

The inception workshop familiarized participants with the Africa AMP's programmatic approach, its linkages regional coordination, detailed strategy, objectives, expected outcomes and important milestones.

Participants also reviewed critical progress made so far and the implementation requirements throughout the project cycle.  

The AMP will have the following four interrelated components :  (1) policy and regulations to support the roll-out of mini-grids; (2) advancement of cooperative-led delivery models; (3) scaled-up financing with de-risking; and (4) digital and data management to ensure cost-effective delivery of electricity services.

State Minister Sultan Woli of the Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia said in his opening remark, “Though Ethiopia is endowed with a variety of renewable energy sources like geothermal, hydro, wind and solar power, more than 52% of Ethiopians are still living without access to electricity and living in darkness. The majority are using dry biomass as an alternative energy supply, which has a diverse impact on the health, environment, and agriculture production productivity.”

State Minister Sultan further elaborated that, “To address this a pitiable situation, since 2017, the Ministry of Water and Energy has developed and being implemented the National Electrification programme to electrify 65% of the population with grid and the remaining 35% from off the grid by 2025. However, this requires about 6 billion USD, which the Ethiopian government alone can’t afford. So far, many developmental actors have been supporting this initiative, and the Africa Mini-grid Programme is one of the projects that supports this national initiative to integrate Ethiopia into off-grid technologies with multitudinous advantages”.