Eritrea’s Energy Market: A Focus on Capacity Building and Skill Development

Eritrea, a small nation in the Horn of Africa, has been making strides in recent years to develop its energy market, with a focus on capacity building and skill development. This progress is vital for the country’s economic growth and sustainable development, as well as for the well-being of its citizens. With a population of around 3.2 million people, Eritrea has a significant potential for growth in the energy sector, and the government has been taking steps to harness this potential.

One of the main challenges facing Eritrea’s energy market is the lack of access to electricity for a large portion of the population. According to the World Bank, only about 43% of Eritreans have access to electricity, with the majority of those living in urban areas. This means that a significant number of people in rural areas still rely on traditional biomass fuels, such as wood and charcoal, for their energy needs. This not only has negative environmental impacts but also contributes to health problems due to indoor air pollution.

To address this issue, the Eritrean government has been investing in renewable energy projects, particularly in solar and wind power. The country has an abundance of sunshine and wind resources, making these forms of renewable energy ideal for meeting the needs of its population. The government has set a target of generating 70% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, which would significantly reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, Eritrea has been focusing on capacity building and skill development in the energy sector. This includes providing training and education for engineers, technicians, and other professionals who will be needed to design, install, and maintain renewable energy systems. The government has also been working with international partners, such as the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, to provide technical assistance and funding for these initiatives.

One example of this capacity building effort is the Eritrean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), which was established in 2014 with support from the European Union. The center aims to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in Eritrea, as well as to provide training and support for local professionals working in the sector. ECREEE has already trained more than 200 engineers and technicians in solar and wind energy technologies, helping to build a skilled workforce that can drive the country’s energy transition.

Another important aspect of Eritrea’s energy market development is the involvement of the private sector. The government has been working to create a favorable investment climate for private companies interested in developing renewable energy projects in the country. This includes offering tax incentives and other financial support for companies that invest in renewable energy technologies, as well as streamlining the process for obtaining permits and licenses.

These efforts have started to pay off, with several private companies now operating in Eritrea’s renewable energy sector. For example, the Asmara Solar Power Plant, which began operations in 2018, was developed by a private company in partnership with the Eritrean government. The plant has a capacity of 2.25 megawatts and provides electricity to around 40,000 people in the capital city of Asmara.

In conclusion, Eritrea’s focus on capacity building and skill development in its energy market is a crucial step towards achieving its renewable energy goals and improving the lives of its citizens. By investing in education and training, as well as creating a favorable investment climate for private companies, the country is well on its way to becoming a leader in renewable energy in the region. This progress not only benefits Eritrea’s economy and environment but also serves as an example for other developing countries looking to transition to a more sustainable energy future.

Source : Energy Portal

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