Ethiopian power sector development: Renewable based universal electricity access and export strategies
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This paper presents an assessment of alternative, long-term energy supply strategies for the Ethiopian power sector, during 2015-2045, using the MARKAL, energy system model. This study also identifies alternative, sustainable energy supply options to meet Ethiopia's rising demand for energy, while also achieving the policy goals of universal electrification, zero greenhouse gas emissions, increased electricity exports, and improved energy security. In all scenarios, the results show a large potential for renewable energy technologies, such as hydropower, solar PV and wind. These technologies have implications for neighboring countries in the region and will also affect the agriculture sector in Ethiopia. Hydropower, for example, is a renewable energy source that can contribute to rural electrification, while also providing water to support irrigation expansion. An alternative policy scenario prioritizing renewable energy technologies reduces dependence on fossil fuel completely at minimal cost, while providing long-term environmental benefits. Expansion of electricity access to the entire population entails large investments in power generation capacity as well as substantial increases in the total system cost of energy production. Such a scenario would also increase the country's reliance on fossil fuels and geothermal energy sources. Most alternative policy options show higher investment costs will be required to achieve policy goals in the near term (with the exception of the export scenario). However, the analysis shows long-term benefits from investing in energy supply including sustainable energy system development, expansion of access to modern sources of energy, and the development of a low carbon society.
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