Ethiopia: EmNEW signs agreement to seek renewable energy solutions for humanitarian operations

Empower and NRC Ethiopia sign agreement

Empower New Energy, the renewable impact investment company with offices in Oslo and Nairobi, has partnered with the Norwegian Refugee Council to seek sustainable solutions for replacing fossil fuels with renewable solar energy in Ethiopia. NRC is one of the largest international humanitarian organizations working to protect the rights of displaced and vulnerable people during crises and has provided assistance in Ethiopia since 2011.

The project, “Scaling Solar for Humanitarian Operations in Ethiopia” intends - following a 6 months feasibility study - to finance, construct and operate solar power plants for 2-3 refugee settlements in Ethiopia. In addition to NRC, EmNEW and Ethiopian developer Ethio Resources Group (ERG), the project is co-financed with a grant from Innovation Norway.

The study will also seek to evaluate the potential demand for electricity around the refugee settlements, with the aim of extending the solar distribution network from the refugee camps to neighbouring communities. The lessons learnt will also be documented and used for scaling-up the project as well and disseminated to other parties for knowledge sharing and replication.

The consortium agreement was signed early January 2020. Photo: EmNEW.

Renewable energy in a humanitarian context

The aim of the partnership-project is to deploy a business model that