Ethiopia, China and Sri Lanka have signed a tripartite agreement for the implementation of Renewable Energy Transfer (RET) project with main focus on solar and biogas energy development.
During the inception workshop of the cooperation held in Addis Ababa this week, the signatories indicated that the project aims to enhance renewable energy by seeking the potential resources of the three countries.
The RET project will be implemented from 2019 to 2021. In line with the South-South-Cooperation project, the government of China would provide USD one million each for Ethiopia and Sri Lanka while the two countries would allocate the remaining budget.
During the workshop, Senior Energy Advisor with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Gosaye Mengiste stated that the project is vital to realize Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program entitled “light for all”.
Gosaye stated that the national electrification program aims to expand energy access for all by an off-grid and mini-grid sources of energy through developing alternative energy sources.
Asres Woldegiorgis, Alternative Energy Technology Promotion Director with Ministry told The Ethiopian Herald that the project will play its role in minimizing Ethiopia’s development challenges.
Asres reiterated that on Ethiopian side the project will focus on public and private institutions like schools, health centres, hospitals, colleges, universities and rural water supply systems which will help to boost the efforts of the Ethiopian government to meet the public demand.
According to him “lack of modern energy sources in Ethiopia remains an important barrier in terms of socio-economic development due to the sustainability of energy consumption and power for lighting, cooking and income generation. Only 35 per cent of the population and fewer than five per cent of the rural population is connected to the power grid.”
Hence, energy sources like biogas and solar are key actions to meet energy access for all and this project will help to enhance the energy access for Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, Asres noted.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Ethiopia Resident Representative Turhan Saleh on his part noted that the new tripartite South-South Cooperation on Renewable Energy partnership helps in the fight against the deliberate impacts of poverty.
Turhan said that the cooperation will enhance the energy coverage of Ethiopia since only 35 per cent of its population gets access to energy and enhance Sri Lanka’s renewable energy resource since its energy coverage comes from imported fossil fuels, although its energy coverage reaches 95 per cent.
The project aimed at improving access to clean energy, promoting a climate-resilient green economy in partner countries and play its role to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs of the People’s Republic of China to Ethiopia, Liu Yu said.
As Ethiopia gives due attention to building a climate-resilient economy, the project will add its value for its development goals and add its value to the efforts of the country of protecting nature, she added.
Experience sharing, training and experts support are the main supports of the project in addition to the fund, it was learnt.