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Analysis of Ethiopian energy system transition towards renewable energy sector expansion

  • The ‘Energy Crisis’ has become the talk of the town in pretty much every developing and lower developing countries in today’s world. It is characterized by a state where the country’s locally available energy resources are being depleted and it is dependent on imported fuel. The problem is considered as although not parallel, but a descendant of the food crisis in terms of the seriousness of the problems in developing nations essentially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Ethiopia is one such country which nevertheless going through a rapid scale of development (nearly 11 % annual growth rate as of 2017 according to the World Bank) and also is endowed with an enormous amount of natural resources such as hydro, wind, solar, geothermal energy potential. The Ethiopian power sector is heavily dependent on the country’s hydropower resources. However, it needs to diversify its energy sector and integrate new and other renewable energy sources because, in the longer term, its extreme hydropower dependence may put its power sector vulnerable to natural risks like droughts which are very likely scenarios due to the climate change. Since the lack of access to modern forms of energy services left no choice for the Ethiopians than to continue their traditional biomass use, and it results in unsustainable environmental harm with deforestation, soil erosion, and many others. To address this issue, Ethiopia is taking necessary steps towards climate-friendly industrialization of the economy. In order to understand this transition, a socio-technical analysis of Ethiopian ambitious transformation from an agrarian society to a climate resilient green society has been presented in this paper. An analytical framework will be formulated as a prerequisite for the study by introducing the theory of Multilevel Perspective (MLP). This theory enables the understanding of three different levels of socio-technical environment namely niches, regime, and landscape in which the respective actors interact with each other to facilitate the process of transition. As a part of laying the groundwork, this thorough analysis constitutes all the country’s energy-related activities and associated energy demands, conversion technologies, current fuel mix, primary energy resources, and energy policies in the Ethiopian energy system. The LEAP analysis results from Mr. Md Alam Mondal and group are summarized to obtain an understanding of the country’s total energy demand scenarios. Consequently, the actors from each socio-technical level have been identified in the context of Ethiopia and their dynamics of interaction have been explained in order to understand the process of energy system transition of Ethiopia in the direction of diversification of its energy system and hence result in the expansion of new renewable energy sector. Most importantly the assessment suggests that the transition process is majorly driven by top-down forces and intra-level reconfiguration of regime actors. There are no bottom-up forces acting as only a little research and development work takes place in the country to develop new radical changes/technological niches. A developing country like Ethiopia has undoubtedly a bright future ahead with all systems in place and the nature-gifted natural resource potential. The ambitious goals set by the country and the international help from developed allies are definitely working in tandem to ensure their accomplishment. With its guiding vision towards development and the global climate change movement, Ethiopia surely has the potential to lead by example.

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Author:Deepak Kumar Mohapatra
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Publishing Institution:Hochschulbibliothek der Technischen Hochschule Köln
Granting Institution:Technische Hochschule Köln
Date of first Publication:2019/08/04
Date of Publication (online):2019/08/06
GND-Keyword:Erneuerbare Energien; Äthiopien
Tag:Ethiopian; Renewable energy
Page Number:115
Institutes:Fakultät für Raumentwicklung und Infrastruktursysteme (F12) / Fakultät 12 / Institut für Technologie und Ressourcenmanagement in den Tropen und Subtropen
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-ND - Namensnennung - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International