Thematic Workshop on Productive Use of Energy and Community Energy

Event Title: Thematic Workshop on Productive Use of Energy and Community Energy

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023

Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Blue Space

Organizer: Ethiopian Women in Energy Association (EWiEn)

Collaborator: Ethiopia Germany Energy cooperation – GIZ 

Description 

 

The thematic workshop is a monthly event that provides a platform for professionals in the energy sector to share and discuss ideas. The workshop is a collaborative effort between professionals, where ideas are discussed freely, the future of energy is explored, challenges are discussed and solutions are brainstormed with an attempt to create community for energy professionals.

The Thematic Workshop on Productive Use of Energy (PUE) and Community Energy is part of EWiEn’s Advocacy programs both for gender equity and energy justice. It aims to promote women’s participation in the energy sector and advocate for policies and programs for both gender and energy equity.

 

Opening Remarks

Adey Getachew, the president of EWiEn, opened the workshop by introducing herself and explaining about EWiEn and its four services: capacity building, networking, spotlighting, and advocacy.

 

Presentation

Mrs. Selamawit Beneberu, the vice chairperson of EWiEn, gave a presentation on the energy coverage in Ethiopia, PUE, and community energy.

 

Panel Discussion

Selamawit introduced the panelists, Mr. Samson Tollesa, Head of Secretariat of Ethiopian German Energy Cooperation, GIZ, and Mr. Tewodros Berihun from the SNV DREAM project. Both panelists shared their backgrounds, experiences, and current project status

The main discussed topics were:

  • How to practice community energy systems in Ethiopia
  • The impact of gender norms and power dynamics on decision-making about energy use in rural areas
  • Strategies for involving women as decision-makers in the implementation of community energy systems
  • The economic and social benefits of using renewable energy sources for the rural community, with a focus on the primary benefits for women.

The panelists took time to answer questions from both the moderator and attendees:

  • From your perspective, what does community energy mean and what is your experience?
  • How does PUE impact women, Particularly  in Ethiopia’s rural areas? 
  • How does policy address the energy sector in Ethiopia?
  • What strategies can be employed to involve more women in the energy sector?

  

Key Takeaways

 

The main insights from the workshop were:

 

Involvement of Women in Decision-Making: Investing in energy infrastructure even in sparsely populated or remote rural areas can improve the life quality of communities, especially for women, who often bear the burden of household energy needs. Involving them in the process and decision-making leads to a better quality of life since they understand the challenges. By organizing women, and training them with additional skills both technical and soft skills.

 

Understanding a community: Energy-focused projects are often planned and executed without taking a crucial step – understanding the community, environment, and lifestyle of a specific area. Once you comprehend a community’s daily experiences, proposing a solution becomes easier.

 

Collaborative support: The government, private investors, and community energy systems should collaborate to achieve the National Electrification Program (NEP) target by 2030.

 

Conclusion

 

The Thematic Workshop on PUE and Community Energy provided an open environment to discuss Ethiopia’s energy sector’s journey, current challenges, and potential solutions.

EWiEn would like to express gratitude to the panelists for sharing their knowledge and experience. We also appreciate the audience for their attendance and active participation in the workshop.

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-EWiEn
Author: -EWiEn