“Ethiopia has a very high potential for solar, wind, and hydro power, in addition to biogas as alternative energy sources.” Dr. Araya Asfaw, Executive Director of HoA-REC, opened the workshop on renewable energy and welcomed the participants in Debre Zeit.
HoA-REC joined its partners and associates for a 3-day EU Energy Facility Integrated Approached to Rural Household Energy in Ethiopia Project Inception Workshop at the Debre Zeit Management Institute on October 14, 2011.
Abiy Ashenafi, Head of the Energy Partnership Programme of HoA-REC, provided the group with an overview of energy use in Ethiopia. His presentation illuminated the overdependence (over 90%) on biomass – fuel wood, agricultural residue and dung – as an energy source in Ethiopia. This is due to many factors, including the lack of market infrastructure and financing for renewable energy technologies, as well as a lack of awareness. The primary technologies chosen for this project, which are intended to promote the use of renewable technologies in the Ethiopian context, are: fuel saving stoves, solar lanterns, solar cookits, solar home systems, plant oil cookers and biogas technology.
During the lunch hour, participants were given the opportunity to taste traditional dishes prepared with solar cookits.The staff of PISDA provided the participants with cooked carrots and potatoes, tomatoes and onion stir fry and kale and onions. They were prepared in pots sealed off in specialized plastic bags that, when cooked for 2 – 3 hours with direct sunlight, produce the meals featured in the pictures below. On tomorrow’s menu is traditional Ethiopian bread.
The four-year project grant was awarded to HoA-REC by the European Commission EU Energy Facility Grant of the 10th European Development Fund earlier this year; during the project period investments will be made into the construction and operation of renewable energy technology centers in communities not currently connected to the national electricity grid. Project partners and associates in attendance included representatives from the Ministry of Water and Energy, Oromiya Water, Mineral and Energy Bureau, GIZ, ICCO-Kerk in Actie, ENDA, SNV, Solar Cooking Netherlands, SEDA, PISDA, ORDA, FfE, REST and ANCEDA.
The inception workshop is preceding the official launching of the Project at the Addis Ababa Hilton on October 19, 2011.