Ethiopia wide open landscape

Report | 2021

Productive Uses of Energy in Ethiopia

By Scarlett SantanaFrancis ElishaZihe MengKester WadePatience Bukirwa
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Agricultural Value Chain and Electrification Feasibility Study

In Ethiopia, there is consensus among national stakeholders that productive use of electricity will be key to achieve national targets of universal electrification; however, there is not consensus on how to effectively support and enable adoption in rural communities. How can we promote the alignment critical to accelerating productive uses forward?

This 240-page study aims to create a shared understanding of and a common language to assess opportunities for productive use. Specifically, it identifies opportunities to electrify agricultural productive uses today, how they can be developed through feasible business models, and the strategies and initiatives stakeholders can use to overcome barriers to deployment.

This study underscores that understanding local communities’ energy needs is a key determinant of successful projects. Leveraging field research and more than 250 interviews from 51 communities, the study explores prevalent activities, community practices, and economic returns that indicate the potential benefits for rural communities.

The study concludes that grain-flour milling is economically viable to electrify today in rural Ethiopia. The study also identifies early business models and strategies to scale adoption of productive uses throughout rural communities in Ethiopia. Ultimately, the study intends to use these hypotheses as the foundation for developing a National Productive Use Program based on ground consultation and field testing.

To learn more about RMI’s work on productive use, view RMI’s Productive Use page.