Energising Development Ethiopia

Project description

Title: Energising Development (EnDev) Ethiopia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia
Overall term: 2010 to 2020

EnDev ET Ererte MHP Sidama


Ethiopia is endowed with plenty of potential sources for generating renewable energy. The amount of electric power could easily exceed the country’s own demand. Nevertheless, Ethiopia is one of the countries with the lowest consumption of electricity in the world. Today, only about 30 percent of its 100 million inhabitants have access to electricity.

The majority of Ethiopians live in rural areas, where only about ten percent of the population have access to electricity. The lack of supply with electric power seriously limits the country’s potential for socio-economic development, in particular in rural areas. Few affordable alternatives to traditional energy sources exist, most people rely on kerosene or even firewood.

The fact that very often there are no alternatives to burning firewood or kerosene carries along serious consequences. Deforestation is increasing and results into soil erosion. Smoke is a cause of serious health problems, for instance respiratory tract diseases. Ethiopia will only be able to improve this situation by expanding the use of environmentally friendly energy sources. Using its enormous sources for generating renewable energy is the best alternative.


Access to sustainable energy sources in Ethiopia increases by opening the market for modern energy technologies and services. Lower-income households, social facilities as well as small and medium-sized enterprises increasingly have access to reliable and renewable energy solutions.


Energising Development is a multi-donor, multi-implementer energy access partnership. It is currently financed by six donor countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden. As a part of the global programme, EnDev Ethiopia receives additional co-funding from Ireland, the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare and the European Union.

EnDev Ethiopia supports the establishment of self-sustaining markets for modern energy supply, with a focus on rural areas. It contributes to improved energy access for off-grid households, rural social institutions and small companies. The focus is on three different types of technologies: (1) energy-efficient cookstoves, (2) photovoltaic systems, and (3) the upgrading of traditional watermills so they can power mini-grids built by the project.


  • Photovoltaic solar systems have been installed in more than 200 off-grid public social institutions, like health centres and community centres, providing access to modern energy services. Most of which are health centres where 1.7 kilowatt peak systems power light, refrigeration and laboratory equipment.

  • Currently, around 12,000 solar home systems – one sufficient to provide energy for several lamps, charging mobile phones and a TV/radio - and more than 300,000 solar lanterns have been sold by retailers trained by EnDev Ethiopia. The solar home systems provide access to services to about 430,000 people.

  • More than 650 small-scale producers of energy-efficient cookstoves established their businesses in seven regions of Ethiopia. Since 2012, they could sell about 2.2 million improved cookstoves (mostly Mirt and Tikikil stoves, for baking and cooking respectively). The stoves, which are still in use today, save almost 300,000 tonnes of fuelwood and reduce CO2 emissions by 300,000 tonnes per year.

  • In five villages of South-Western Ethiopia, six pilot micro-hydropower plants have been constructed in the past years. As part of the EU support to EnDev Ethiopia, more MHP mini-grids will be developed. A preliminary assessment of more than 400 potential hydropower sites will be completed in early 2018, leading to feasibility studies for a part of them.

European Union Support to EnDev Ethiopia 

Since 2017, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ethiopia provides additional support to Energising Development. The support will be directed towards developing and growing the market for modern renewable energy technologies and services as well as energy efficiency solutions. With the extra resources from the EU and EnDev core donors it will be possible to reach around 500,000 people until 2020. 100 social institutions, predominantly rural health centres and schools that currently do not have access to electricity from the national power grid will receive solar power technology to run their facilities and equipment. In addition, measures will help establish 100 production sites with an enhanced manufacturing of cookstoves, which can be used for cleaner cooking in households in rural areas. These households so far depended on firewood to fuel their cookstoves. 1,100 improved cookstoves will be provided to social institutions and 2,000 will be sold to businesses. The manufacturing of 240,000 improved cookstoves will be supported to go on sale – accompanied by targeted promotional activities. The EU support in Ethiopia will further strengthen the commercial distribution of quality solar systems leading to sales of 100,000 solar lanterns and 1,300 solar home systems to households and businesses. Moreover, 30 traditional water mills will be equipped with technology generating renewable energy. They will thereby grant access to electricity and enable the socio-economic development of rural communities.