Planning for a Powerful Future

NRECA International supported the Ethiopia Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) to develop a comprehensive national electrification strategy. Funded by the World Bank, this strategy laid the groundwork for sustainable economic growth by expanding access to electricity for millions of Ethiopians living in urban, peri-urban, rural and remote areas.

To complete this task, NRECA International consulted with multiple stakeholders within the power industry and Ethiopian government agencies to evaluate grid and off-grid expansion options and improve the efficacy of the ongoing investment program in electric infrastructure. The team provided a comprehensive strategy that provides a roadmap for scaling up electrification in Ethiopia in a more effective and sustainable manner, which will ultimately improve the overall performance of the electricity sector.

Going Off-Grid to Reach Rural Populations

The NRECA International team completed feasibility studies to evaluate opportunities to accelerate off-grid electric service in conjunction with the significant grid expansion program. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) this project compared technology solutions and associated costs for using a combination of solar-diesel and solar-battery mini-grids, and individual solar home systems for individual household solutions.

The team also advised the MoWIE and the Ethiopian Electric Utility on how best to create an efficient and effective business environment to promote the establishment of viable off-grid service providers, including rural electric cooperatives.

Using Smart Grids

Funded by the US Trade and Development Agency, the team conducted an in-depth study to help modernize Ethiopia’s Electric Utility’s (EEU) infrastructure and operations. This study provided the EEU recommendations on how to implement smart grid technologies.

Creating a Strong Framework

One of the principal recommendations of the national electrification strategy was to systematize the process of electrification planning. Through its Power Africa initiative, USAID engaged the NRECA International team to develop a geospatial platform to identify electrification opportunities, evaluate project costs and impacts, and develop annual and longer-term investments plans. This platform will be used to integrate grid and off-grid expansion electrification opportunities.


  • World Bank
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • United States Trade and Development Agency