3rd RELA webinar on access to electricity in Ethiopia available to watch

11th March, 2021

On Thursday 11th March 2021 our CESET partner Professor Getachew Bekele of Addis Ababa University delivered the 3rd webinar in our Regional Energy Learning Alliance series. The webinar was chaired by our colleague Dr Long Seng To of Loughborough University.

Professor Bekele presented on “access to electricity in Ethiopia”. The presentation included a history of electricity in Ethiopia, noting the first generator was used in Menilik Palace in 1898! Over the last century progress has been made and Ethiopia is working towards the Government’s National Electrification Program (NEP1.0 replaced by version NEP2.0 in 2017). This ambitious plan aims to reach universal access to electricity by 2025 – aiming for 65% of the population having electricity through the grid and the other 35 % through off-grid technologies - stand-alone solar systems and mini-grids. A key priority for the program is ensuing health centers and schools are given access to electricity. .

A question and answer session followed the presentation:  

  • It feels like the National Electrification Program represents an enormous commitment to off-grid energy. Does this represent a radical change from previous electrification policies? Also, would you be able to explain to what extent is the current conflict in Tigray affecting plans within the National Electrification Program?
  • In relation to off-gried access, what are the polices on off-grid connection i.e. do you treat it as a temporary solution or is it a longer term?
  • What is the role of community energy in addressing energy justice?
  • It would be interesting to look into the least-cost approach to energy planning and where the community energy fits into such a model of planning? Should we explore how holistic issues are brought into decisions?

You can download a copy of Professor Bekele’s slide and watch the presentation again on the CESET YouTube playlist - below. 

The final webinar in this current series is on 13th May 2021 at 2pm GMT. Dr Jiska De Groot, University of Cape Town, Professor Federico Caprotti, University of Exeter and Hendrick Schloemann, Zenke Energy will present on  “implementing community-centred off-grid energy projects in informal settlement”. Register for free via Eventbrite


The off-grid access is where the CESET project can make a real contribution to electricity access in East Africa.

Professor Getachew Bekele, Addis Ababa University



RELA Webinar 3 Keynote