Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SEFA grant to help smart meter production in Ethiopia

Steve Rogerson
January 7, 2015
 
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US$842,000 grant to DVentus Technologies to help establish a local manufacturing facility of smart meters in Ethiopia.

The grant will finance a market and bankability study as well as product validation and certification with the aim of mitigating part of the technical development risks and catalysing the financing required for the transition and expansion plan.

The DVentus factory aims to provide competitive, reliable and energy efficient products that will lead to an improvement in power distribution and generation, and in energy management that will help address Ethiopia’s current and projected energy shortfall. Smart electric meters will have a direct impact in efficient billing, load management, tariff management and theft control resulting in smaller power losses, fewer power outages and better customer service.

It is estimated that savings up to US$66m per year and a 50% reduction in distribution losses could be achieved if the two million connected clients in Ethiopia were to use this technology. The project is also expected to contribute to technology transfer of high-tech engineering and to the creation of up to 150 jobs during construction of the manufacturing facility and another 150 jobs during operations, out of which 80% are expected to be highly skilled jobs.

The project aims to help demonstrate the viability of indigenous high-tech suppliers for the growing clean energy sector in Africa. It aligns with the Ethiopian Climate Resilience and Green Economy Strategy and the vision expressed in the Ethiopian Growth & Transformation Plan 2011-2015 to support the creation and promotion of an industrial sector that plays a leading role in the economy.

SEFA support to DVentus Technologies fits within the African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB’s) broader cooperation with Power Africa – a US presidential initiative aimed at supporting economic growth and development by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in all of sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia.

SEFA is a multi-donor facility to unlock private investments in small to medium sized clean energy projects in Africa. It is endowed with US$60million from the governments of Denmark and the USA. The fund is hosted by the energy, environment and climate change department of the AfDB.