Plan International works in the field of Rural Electrification in Ethiopia and has a holistic approach including the development of local infrastructure, the set-up of educational institutions such as schools and training centres and health stations, as well as capacity building. As part of their activities they provide solar off-grid power supply to public institutions. Phaesun in cooperation with the local partner Lydetco PLC provided the equipment and installed the systems. The project was funded by the European Union.
Photovoltaic technology was selected as the only viable energy source for several reasons. The national electricity grid does not reach many rural areas. The use of diesel generators is not encouraged owing to the scarcity of fuel, noise factor, environmental problems and high price of transport of the fuel to far flung remote sites. Additionally the operation and maintenance cost of generator sets is problematic.
The challenge to successfully implement these systems was mainly the remoteness of the sites. Transportation of the equipment and installation crews was a challenge but was safely and efficiently carried out by local partner Lydetco PLC.