World Bank funds Ethiopia rural program including small hydro

The World Bank has approved a US$130 million credit to expand rural access to electricity in Ethiopia, including mini-grid systems to be supplied by small hydropower projects.

The bank’s International Development Association is providing the credit to the Second Electricity Access Rural Expansion program to bring grid, mini-grid, and off-grid power to 295 towns and villages benefiting about 1.8 million people.

The off-grid expansion component aims to connect 30 rural towns using renewable technologies, including small hydro. An appraisal of the program envisions hydro projects to be run-of-river developments, typically of about 200 kW.

The grid expansion component is to extend the transmission system to about 265 towns. The program also includes a capacity building component to provide technical and institutional assistance to employ energy efficient systems.

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