Secure, reliable, and affordable energy services are key to addressing many global development challenges. “Energy poverty” is widely recognized as hindering the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and energy security now features prominently in the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Modern energy services are required to create the conditions for economic development, social equality, and poverty alleviation. Access to modern energy not only helps increase income generation activities but it also supports global development goals, including reducing the impacts of climate change, achieving food security, improving health and increasing access to education. One of the major problems in the global economy is lack of energy security.
Establishing sustainable energy policy at the national, regional and global levels, however, requires further understanding of how the energy sector would interact and link with other sectors. Studies aimed at informing energy policy development and investment on the trade-offs across sectors, the economy-wide impacts, and appropriate business models are lacking in developing countries.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity (MOWIE) organized a stakeholder workshop on alternative pathways to improve electricity access in Ethiopia and one-day training on energy modeling options for policy planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 28 and November 29, 2017 respectively. The workshop was attended by 28 participants from ministries, different utilities and universities (on November 28) and 32 participants were in the training on November 29.
The objective of the stakeholder workshop was to familiarize participants with current status, challenges, and opportunity for Ethiopia’s energy sector and discuss alternative pathways to improve access to electricity. Stakeholder workshop started with welcome remarks by Abiti Getaneh Gebremeskel, Director, Research and Development Directorate Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity and Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Direction, Environment and Technology Production Division (EPTD), IFPRI. During the workshop, speakers discussed energy sector regulations, current priorities and recommendations for Ethiopian energy development, current development and prospects to integrate RETs into Ethiopian energy system and current status, challenges and opportunity for Ethiopia’s energy sector.
The training was led by Alam Mondal, research fellow, IFPRI. Through the introduction of different energy modelling tools, participants were able to understand the role of energy models enabling them to design long-term energy policies that help to optimize use of energy resources, improve energy access, improve energy security, minimize import dependency, minimize investment risk, mitigate GHG emissions, and minimize total system costs. Participants were also taught to use simulation model for comprehensive energy demand projection which is crucial for policy planning and to understand off-grid energy system analysis. Different energy models such as RETScreen, HOMER, LEAP, MARKAL, and TIMES were presented. Further, examples of energy policy design for recent MARKAL, LEAP, and TIMES model applications for Ethiopia and Philippines were also presented in the training.
Due to positive feedback from participants and continued interest of MOWIE, IFPRI will be organizing another energy modeling training in early 2018.