Ethiopia makes progress in solar energy initiative

September 9, 2013 0 By Angie Bergenson

Solar energy brings power to Ethiopian communities

Throughout Africa, many communities exist without a connection to a dedicated energy grid. For many of these communities, electricity is an expensive luxury or otherwise inaccessible. Despite this, however, the demand for energy has been steadily growing, especially as access to clean water becomes more strained. In Ethiopia, solar energy may be able to help bring electrical power to grid-less communities. According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, some 13,200 solar energy systems have already been installed across the country.

Funding from World Bank helps bring clean power to Ethiopia

Like other African countries, Ethiopia has been investing heavily in renewable energy. Solar energy has become a favored form of clean power due to the country’s abundant exposure to sunlight. Installing solar energy systems is an expensive endeavor, however, and much of the country’s efforts have been supported by funds from the World Bank. In December of 2012, the Ethiopian government acquired $11 million from the World Bank that went toward the installation of new solar systems in communicates throughout the country.

Ethiopia Solar EnergyEnergy crisis could be resolved through the use of renewable energy

Over the past several years, Ethiopia has been struggling to recover from a major energy crisis. In 2009, less than 10% of the country’s population had reliable access to electricity. This problem was caused by the depletion of the country’s oil and natural gas reserves, a portion of which had been sold off to other countries for the sake of economic stability. The energy crisis has been mitigated somewhat by the development of 1.8 gigawatts of hydropower in the country. Solar energy is not being highlighted as a way to make electricity more accessible to rural communities.

Ethiopia focuses on various forms of clean power

Solar energy is not the only form of clean power that Ethiopia is interested in. In 2008, the country became home to Africa’s largest wind energy system at the time. The country has also been investing heavily in the development of new hydropower systems. Solar energy, along with other forms of clean power, may help resolve the energy demand that continues to come from many of the country’s communities that do not yet have access to reliable energy sources.