The Puzzle of Intermittent Power Outage While the Nation Invests Heavily in Power Generation
In Sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 600 million people live without electricity according to the Rockefeller Philanthropy, Ethiopia has been a champion of investment in renewable energy. With billions of US dollar investment made in power generations since 1991, the country has increased power production to more than 4200MW. This is an enormous achievement especially when one notes that the country produce only 378MW in 1991. The production will surpass 10,000MW when the USD4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam starts power production.
However, within this phenomenal achievement lies an astounding truth – residents and industries suffering from erratic power outages on daily basis. Not only that, up to 30Pct of the power generated are lost due to poor distribution lines exacerbating the already unreliable power supply. The cost has been terrible on personal, institutional and state level. Unregulated power voltages sometimes damage properties and companies fail to produce per target due to power interruption. The implication of these to the national economy is considerable. EBR’s Tamirat Astatkie delved into this complicated matter and consulted researches to shed light on this gruesome reality. He has spoken to government officials and experts to understand what the nation is doing to provide reliable power supply.