Ethiopia is expediting efforts to generate large amount of electricity. Currently the production has gone quite over 4,000 mws. But its potential from water alone is believed to be more than 60,000 mws while from wind it can generate more than 1 million mws.
Owing to its rapidly growing urbanization, there is a need to increase the electric power supply as electricity is likely to be in use by every household. Previously electricity is limited only to light bulbs. And lately with the capacity of households to buy more household utensils, people buy appliances like TV, refrigerators etc.
Availability of adequate energy is mandatory to ensure stable living condition in such rapidly growing urban areas of the country. Alongside generating more electricity, saving the already available energy is a good solution to address the issue.
In this regard Ethiopian Energy Authority is introducing several measures to mitigate the increasing wastage of energy due to unwise use, lack of public awareness and inefficiency of electric materials, Engineer Zewge Worku, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Acting Director with the authority said. According to the acting director the amount of energy wastage at this time is around 25% and it needs strong controlling to wisely use the supplied energy.
By distributing CFL light bulbs to save energy wastage on two rounds Ethiopian Electric power was able to save 100 mw of electric power , Engineer Zewge recalled.
But currently, even though incandescent materials are banned legally, since the energy efficient materials are run by the market there is a problem on their quality and the incandescent materials are also importing illegally and available on different shops, he added.
The acting director said that to control the illegal activity, the authority is working closely with the Ethiopian Customs and Revenue Authority and to handle the quality problems, obligatory standard were set in collaboration with the Ethiopian Standards Agency.
But due to the loopholes in implementation and regulation, still using false certificate and different illegal mechanisms materials are importing below the standard set, he stated. Three discussion forums were held on this fiscal year with all stakeholders to solve this problem.
The authority is focusing on energy audit on heavy factors, energy data analysis, checkup the efficiency of household electric materials and electric motors, Engineer Zewge said. The authority has done assessment study on the power use of baking plate, electric stove and electric motors and standard has set on these three materials as the only remain thing is leveling, he restated.
The acting director said that baking plate on average consumes 3.5 kilo watts of electricity and there is no requirement on fabricate it as energy efficiency is not considering since it produced locally. Based on the assessment study a plan was set to implement energy efficiency standard leveling which is implementing at the international level.
The Authority has set a Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) by taking sample from every producer to check the energy efficiency, he said. And at this time the minimum efficiency of making plate is 56%, which means the 56% from the total energy used properly and the remains is wasting and to increase the minimum efficiency MEPS has been set, engineer Zewge added.
Engineer Zewge said that to solve the problem on baking plates energy efficiency test has been held, MEPS sets, range and level is also already set, level logo identified and discussion with stakeholders have been held and the only remain thing is leveling implementation, which absence of enforcement directive on the authority makes becomes an obstacle currently drafted and send to Council of ministers for ratification.
Next to the ratification of the enforcement regulation of the authority, prepared enforcements will put on work and the same to the making plate MEPS will implement on stove and electric motors, the acting director restated.
According to the director the authority is also focusing on energy audit on industries through audit and detail energy auditing. Based on the energy auditing held on five industries in 2016/17 fiscal year, 259.5 gigawatt/hour saving potential has identified which already has been wasted and it is too much, he added.
In this fiscal year, reassessment has been held on seven heavy industries, which held the first assessment and response before 2016/17, 1.24 gigawatt/hour electric energy and 462, 742 litter heavy fuel oil has been saved and this indicates that if we care the energy saving there is the capacity of saving too much energy from wastage, he stated.
For the future the authority plans to invite energy audit private companies to the field and the authority focuses on regulatory and license and factories will lead to forced auditing based on their wastage amount, he added.
Lack of public awareness, attitudes of factories on energy leveling and energy inefficiency on investment are among the obstacles for the authority on its work, he said. He stated that due to the electric tariff is too low, the people didn’t give concern for the energy saving, but when we see nationwide, too much energy is wasting and it needs big attention.
Lastly, Engineer Zewge calls the people to use standard energy efficient electric products and not see the cost to buy because they are too much important to save power.
BY DARGIE KAHSAY