The Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC) organized dialogue forum on the draft off-grid guidelines and methodology that is being considered by the Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA). The dialogue forum was conducted at the Siyonat Hotel on June 16, 2015. Different stakeholders from government, NGO’s, university, entrepreneurs, ECIC client companies, and other concerned individuals participated on the discussion.

One of the ECIC’s core objectives is supporting favorable regulatory environment for climate technology entrepreneurs. Organizing national roundtable discussions between policymakers, private sector and civil society will enable to improve the policy framework around climate technologies, the development of the private sector and innovation. During 2014/15 the ECIC had conducted policy research on the private sectors’ engagement in micro hydropower development (MPH) and organized policy dialogue where policy makers, entrepreneurs and non-government organizations took part in the discussion. Realizing that the main challenges revolve around off-grid guidelines and methodology, this second follow on policy dialogue was initiated and organized by the ECIC.

The document prepared by European Commission Technical Assistance Facility for the "Sustainable Energy for All" initiative (SE4ALL) - Eastern and Southern Africa, on Tariff Guidelines and Methodology for Ethiopia was the central point of discussion by the participants. In Ethiopia, off-grid rural electrification is associated with areas which are not covered by grid electricity and is therefore complementary to grid rural electrification. In order to promote investment in off-grid electrification, the Government decided to establish robust legal and regulatory frameworks through the enactment of the Energy Proclamation No. 810/2013, which provided for the establishment of the Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA). The Proclamation empowered the regulatory Authority to perform its role, regarding regulation of both grid-related and off-grid tariffs. The main objective of the document therefore, is to develop the guidelines and methodology to support the determination of transparent off-grid tariffs by EEA. The guideline also examined the regulatory actions and options which are available, in the event that an existing isolated mini-grid, is ‘enveloped’ or ‘absorbed’ by the main grid in future. This is to ensure that the necessary regulatory mechanisms are put in place so that the private sector is not dis-incentivised to invest in isolated mini-grids.

The roundtable discussion on the draft off-grid guidelines and methodology started by welcome speech by the CEO of the ECIC, Tehut Tesfaye. The CEO highlighted the vision and objectives of the ECIC and the need to organize discussion on the draft off-grid guidelines and methodology. Ato Getahun Moges, Executive Director of Ethiopian Energy Authority then briefed the participants on the feed-in tariff system in Ethiopia.

 

Following Ato Getahun’s briefing, the participants forwarded their comments and questions on the draft off-grid guidelines and methodology. After a short break, four panellists: Ato Dereje Walelign from Lydetco, Ato Samson Tsegaye from Solar foundation, Ato Biniam Tesfaye form Winsol and Mr.Rainer Hakal from GIZ presented on three main themes, challenges faced due to absence of off grid tariff, what is missing from the distributed document and their suggestions to the policy makers. The vibrant discussions, valuable suggestions and insights that were provided are expected to contribute to have well developed off-grid guidelines and methodology which incentivizes the private sector to involve in off-grid electricity generation.