ISA and Ethiopia Sign Agreements to Accelerate Solar Park and Solar Pump Projects

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Government of Ethiopia have signed multiple agreements to accelerate solarisation in Ethiopia through solar parks and solar pump projects.

A high-level delegation of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) led by Director General, ISA, Dr. Ajay Mathur today visited Addis Ababa and signed three agreements with the Government of Ethiopia.

The first agreement was signed by the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI), Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), Ministry of Water & Energy (MoWE), Ministry of Irrigation & Lowland Areas Development (MoILD), and Ministry of Finance (MoF). Under this agreement a National Steering Committee for “Solarization Program in Ethiopia” will be established.

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It is noteworthy here that the ISA is focussed at the development of 410 MW Solar park in Ethiopia. A pre- feasibility study was taken up earlier under which 400 MW of ground-mounted and 10 MW Floating solar projects will be developed. In addition, ISA is working with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water and Energy to provide 2,250 solar pumps for irrigation and 1,400 solar water pumps for drinking water purposes.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA shared, “Accelerating solarisation in Ethiopia requires investments, capacity building, and policy support. ISA is facilitating diverse solutions including solar water pump, solar park, and creating mechanisms for blended finance for Ethiopia. We are happy to collaborate and endeavour to bring long-term, cost effective and impactful solutions to fight against climate challenge.”

Dr. Sultan Wali, State Minister of Water and Energy said, “Having solar energy is a priority in Ethiopa and we are working to make them accessible and affordable for our people. The government has taken an integrated approach and is confident that it will bring clean, affordable, and technologically advanced power for both rural and urban areas. Our faith in ISA’s expertise is reinforced through our consistent engagement and interest they have shown in bringing solutions for Ethiopia.”

The second agreement will establish joint working group for “Solarization of Water Pumping for Irrigation and Drinking Water Supply in Ethiopia” and has been signed between ISA, ATI, MoWE, and MoILD. The third agreement, between ISA, EEP, EEU, MoWE is to establish a joint working group for “Implementation of Solar Parks Program in Ethiopia”.

ISA had earlier sanctioned a grant of US$ 50,000 for a demonstration project of the solar water pump. Along with partner organizations National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI), ISA had sent a technical mission to Ethiopia in March, and a tender was  issued by NTPC for solar pumps. The government of Ethiopia will be co-financing the project and will be providing the funds in the new financial year beginning June 2022.

The third partnership agreement was signed with Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University to promote Solar Energy utilisation. Recognizing the high potential for solar technology deployment, ISA offered to establish a Solar Technology Application Resource Centre (STAR-C) in Ethiopia. The STAR Centre will undertake three major functions:

  • Trainings: A training centre for imparting trainings on Solar Energy for Government Officials, Technicians, Bankers etc.
  • Testing: A test Centre for undertaking Solar Technology and application testing and certifying components (solar components, technologies) based on international standards
  • Knowledge centre providing renewable energy data, case studies, guidelines, analytical tools, policies and technical assistance to developers, policymakers, and decision makers.

ISA will play the role of a facilitator and will provide financial and technical support to Government of Ethiopia with resources to setup and manage the training infrastructure, test equipment and software/hardware support for establishing the knowledge management centre.

By signing these agreements, the ISAwants to strengthen its commitment to assist the Government of Ethiopia towards its efforts to achieve universal electric access through solar technologies.

Author: Bryan Groeendaal

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