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Rocky Mountain Institute and IKEA Foundation partner to power rural communities with renewable energy in Ethiopia

Boulder, CO — October 14, 2020

Today, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced a $1 million grant from the IKEA Foundation to enable rural communities in Ethiopia to gain access to renewable energy and create new opportunities for income generation by using energy effectively.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), just 45 per cent of Ethiopians have access to electricity, which means more than 50 million people lack access to energy.

The Ethiopian government has prioritized universal access to electricity and aims to reach 100 per cent electrification by 2025, with 35 per cent of the population utilizing off-grid energy solutions and the other 65 per cent of the country connected to the grid.

IKEA Foundation support will enable RMI’s Ethiopia program to focus on drastically increasing the efficacy of rural electrification programs by stimulating local economic development in communities. RMI will prioritize end-user program design and implementation that leverages synergies between renewable energy and agricultural productive use to identify a pipeline of investment opportunities in productive use of renewable energy (PURE) and energy efficient appliances, and to build awareness about using energy productively.

“We want to bring the renewable-energy sector together to articulate sustainable-energy solutions that put people living in poverty at the heart of their work. That is why we have partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute to bring diverse partners to tackle the biggest challenges in the renewable energy sector in Ethiopia, helping people afford a better life while protecting the planet,” said Shambhavi Sharma, programme manager in the renewable energy team at the IKEA Foundation.

“We are honored to partner with IKEA Foundation in Ethiopia. Over the past few years we’ve seen the incredible opportunities that distributed energy resources, like decentralised mini-grids, bring to rural communities. They not only electrify communities but also build local resilience and bolster economic growth,” said Francis Elisha, RMI Africa principal.

A recent study by RMI in Ethiopia quantified six agricultural production and processing opportunities for rural communities to prioritize: horticulture irrigation, grain milling, injera baking, milk cooling, bread baking and coffee washing. Collectively, these areas have the potential to produce US$4 billion in annual value.
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Media Inquiries please contact:
Katie Lau, Rocky Mountain Institute

Notes to Editors

About IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation is funded by INGKA Foundation, owner of the Ingka Group of companies. The IKEA Foundation is independent from the retail business with a sole focus on creating brighter lives on a liveable planet through philanthropy and grantmaking. Learn more at

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.