EU Energy Project

The HoA-REC&N – EU Energy Project


In 2011,the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network (HoA-REC&N) was awarded a European Commission ACP-EU Energy Facility Grant of the 10th European Development Fund for the project entitled ‘An Integrated Approach to Meet the Rural Household Energy Needs of Ethiopia’.

 The HoA-REC&N – EU Energy Project aims to create access to sustainable energy in the rural and peri-urban areas of Ethiopia, contributing to economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental sustainability. In doing so, the project contributes towards Ethiopia’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 In practice, the main task of the project is the construction of 20 Renewable Energy Technology Centers (RETCs) in areas in Ethiopia with limited access to the national grid. These RETCs will act as Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) to promote and distribute energy-efficient technologies to rural and peri-rural households in the target areas.


  • To increase access to appropriate Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency Technologies (EETs) in targeted areas;
  • To enhance the capacity of the community and Renewable Energy Technology (RET) enterprises.

Activities and Achievements

So far 20 small enterprises with 200 members have been established and provided with sufficient technical and business management training, tools and equipment. The SME’s is now engaged in renewable energy technology production, awareness creation and dissemination and post-sales maintenance services in the target areas. Over 50 Development Agents (DAs) and local administration representatives have also been trained in local renewable energy resource management and application.

In October 2013, HoA-REC&N signed a contract agreement for the construction of 20 RETCs in six districts of the three regional states: Ada’a, ArsiNegelle, Boset and Fedisdistricts in Oromia, Bati in Amhara, and Kolatembien in Tigray.

Distribution of RETCs

Woreda No. of RETCs
Ada’a 3
Boset 4
ArsiNegelle 4
Fedis 3
Bati 3
Kolatembien 3
Total 20

The project aims to provide RE and EETs to a total of 10,000 households – about 60,000 people in total. However, the entire population of the target areas, and even surrounding areas, are expected to benefit from the project – an estimated 182,000 households or 1,092,000 inhabitants of the six districts (woredas). In addition, it will create employment opportunities for over 250 people for the next four years.

Target Areas

The six primary RE technologies to be provided as alternatives to households in each RETC location are fuel saving stoves, solar lanterns, solar home systems, solar cookies, biogas and plant oil cookers.

The expected results of this project are:

  • Reduced household fuel use, contributing to cleaner living situations and gender equality;
  • Reduced deforestation in the target areas;
  • Reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per household;
  • Improved economic flexibility and educational opportunities;
  • Improved employment opportunities;
  • An increased capacity for local communities to produce clean energy.

 Project Setup and Execution

This EU Energy Facility project will take a total of four years to complete. During this time, the following technologies are planned to be produced and disseminated.

10,000 Fuel Saving Stoves (FSS)

In Ethiopia, more than 80% of households-use biomass (wood, agri-residue, dung and charcoal) energy for cooking and baking injera, using less energy efficient traditional open fires which also result in harmful indoor air pollution. The project will disseminate efficient FSS with a minimum energy-saving capacity of over 50%.

9,000 Solar Lanterns

Solar lanterns will provide an alternative to kerosene lamps, introducing brighter, sustainable light in the evening which is especially important for students wishing to study and they can also be used for mobile phone charging.

 4,500 Solar Cookits

Solar cookits will provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to cooking on wood, or other natural resources, by using solar energy.

1,000 Solar Home Systems

A more advanced Solar Home System can be fitted to individual houses to power electronic equipment (in addition to lighting), such as a radio/TV or a mobile phone charging, thus increasing access to information.

200 Biogas Technologies

In selected regions, biogas technology, including cooking equipment and lamps, will be made available for households having four or more cattle. The biogas provides clean fuel for lighting and cooking as well as organic manure to enhance crop productivity.

 These technologies, if properly utilized, will reduce the time and effort required for fuel collection by up to 75%, and decrease exposure to indoor air pollutants by up to 80%. These measures are also expected to have the following main benefits:

  • Reducing time and effort spent on fuel collection, lessening the risk of accidents and abuse of women and children during this practice;
  • Reducing exposure to indoor air pollutants, improving human health, particularly in terms of limiting child mortality and bettering maternal health;
  • Reducing pressure on forests and enabling crop residues and manure to be used as natural fertilizers, as opposed to fuel;
  • Increasing learning and information opportunities for households due to better lighting using solar energy and increasing the available time for productive and social time for women;
  • Reducing CO2 emissions from kerosene and non-renewable biomass.