Optimizing Policy to Accelerate Access in Ethiopia

Evaluating tariff reform, private sector participation, energy audits and smart meters

The Ethiopian government has set a goal of 100% electricity access through both on and off grid solutions by 2025. This collaboration between the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) and Duke University is uncovering the impacts and drivers of the policies that the Government of Ethiopia has put in place to reach that goal.

While a micro and macro-level analysis of the tariff reform is a focus of this research, problems of power unreliability and low access to electricity cannot be improved through better-designed tariffs alone. Nor can tariff reform alone lead to extensive increase in private sector participation. Through an experimental game with off-grid investors and a systematic review of the literature, the project is investigating the barriers and opportunities for private sector participation in the power market via tariffs and other policy mechanisms.

Ethiopia is also considering complementary policy measures to encourage households and enterprises to engage in energy efficiency and conservation activities. Informational market failures have been identified as one of the main reasons why firms and households do not adopt profitable technologies in general, and energy-saving technologies in particular. The project therefore is investigating whether energy audits encourage conservation practices and enhance the productive use of electricity by commercial enterprises in Ethiopia. The energy audit program works by providing information on the quantity of electricity consumed, and offering suggestions for ways to conserve electricity.

The work also includes an experimental side-study on the impacts of smart meters and energy audits on commercial electricity demand, and the effect of prepaid metering on the electricity consumption of households.

Duke Faculty/Staff: Subhrendu K., Pattanayak, Marc Jeuland, Thomas Klug

Non-Duke: Sied Hassen, Alemu Mekonnen, Amare Fentie, Kiflom Gebrehiwot Nigusie, Seyoum Techane

Partner Institutions: Environment and Climate Research Center within the Policy Studies Institute, Addis Ababa University, Ministry of Water Irrigation & Electricity

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