June 6, 2012

Oromo: Households On Solar Powered Electricity

The Ethiopian government will award a company to provide 25,000 households with solar photovoltaic systems, but this does not appear to put any halt to the environmentally damaging dam projects currently underway.

Below is an article published by 2Merkato:

Ethiopia is set to select companies to award a 16 million US dollar project to supply 25,000 households in rural parts of the country with solar powered electricity. The final selection will be made public once final approval is received from the World Bank.

26.5% of the households to receive solar photovoltaic systems through this project are to be found in Oromia region while 24.9% are in the Amhara and Tigray regions and 24.6% are in the Southern Regional state with the balance spread out in other areas.

The 25,000 households were selected by regional cooperatives and energy bureaus.

The project is part of the national plan to supply 150,000 households with solar powered electricity by 2014-15 leading up from the Universal Energy Access Program which aimed to improve electricity access from 15% to 50% by enhancing rural electrification. 

The Rural Electrification Fund was set up to concentrate on alternative sources of energy under the Ministry of Mines before being transferred to the Ministry of Water and Energy.

The fund designed the project as part of the Rural Electricity Access Expansion Phase II Project. The solar powered project is expected to be one of the largest in Africa according to sources at the fund.

The fund floated the tender for the supply of the solar PV systems last August with a 130 million US dollar loan from the World Bank financing the project. Bids came from countries based in different countries including China, Germany, Egypt, the UK, India, Korea, Italy and Spain.  

The winning companies will be selected by the Ministry of Water and Energy and the Rural Electrification Fund but final approval will be required from the World Bank.