The overall objective of European Union (EU) cooperation with Eritrea is to ensure improved livelihoods of the Eritrean population through poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) so that Eritrea can achieve sustainable social and economic development of its people. While pursuing its economic and social development, Eritrea is facing considerable challenges. Energy security is one of the major prerequisites for the development of all economic and social sectors, as well as for the improvement of the livelihood of all Eritreans.
For the 11th EDF, the EU and the Government of the State of Eritrea have agreed that the energy sector should be a priority. In line with the Agenda for Change and the EU's approach to sustainable growth for human development as well as GSE's priorities, the focus will be on supporting energy as a sector with a strong multiplier impact on Eritrea's social and economic development. An envelope of EUR 175 million is intended for improved access to clean, reliable and affordable energy, out of a total indicative allocation to Eritrea of EUR 200 million in programmable funds.
Poverty reduction and an expansion of economic output, particularly in higher productivity sectors, will require a significant increase in electricity generation and distribution. With 50kWh per year, the per-capita electricity consumption in Eritrea today is one of the lowest in the region. Furthermore, almost 100% of Eritrea’s power generated is fossil fuel based - a situation which is not sustainable.
The situation of Eritrea’s energy supply system is characterised by massive dependence on traditional biomass fuels to cover domestic energy requirements, lack of easy access by about three quarters of the population to modern energy, and almost total reliance on imported oil as a source of modern energy services in particular electricity. This issue of reliance on imported oil is compounded by the fact that 22% of the produced energy is lost in transmission and distribution, and the generated power is not sufficient to serve the population. Eritrea is especially rich in renewable energy resources, whereas some fossil fuel resources (oil and gas) have yet to be adequately explored and exploited. Eritrea enjoys high solar radiation around the year and considerable wind energy potential, especially in the southern coastal areas and in some wind passes of the highlands. The potential for solar and wind energy utilisation is therefore substantial. In future, solar and wind energy will certainly play an important role in the Eritrea's energy mix.
An Eritrean coherent energy policy will first of all help Eritrea. A comprehensive study on the future development of the energy sector (2015-2040), and most specifically setting up the National Power Development Master Plan, is urgently required to arrive at an economically viable way to create a better energy generation mix for Eritrea’s economic development.
The Eritrean government has in the recent years proactively participated in several EU projects in the renewable energy field leading innovative actions such as:
- Supply and Installation of stand-alone solar PV systems in 73 Agricultural Facilities in Eritrea for the Ministry of Agriculture throughout the country to enhance power supply for agricultural facilities like: animal health clinics, laboratories, cold storages and other facilities in the sector;
- Supply and Installation of Drip Irrigation Schemes Powered by Photovoltaic :the action will contribute to poverty reduction through sustainable socio-economic growth in rural areas and enhanced sustainability of rural livelihoods;
- Construction of two 2,000 m³ LPG storage tanks (under the 9th EDF);
- ACP EU Energy Facility II
- Solar PV Mini Grids for Two Rural Towns and Surrounding Villages in Eritrea, to improve the livelihoods (increase income and access to social services: MDGs) of rural towns and villages while informing the decision making for replication within the National Energy Policy Reform in view of mitigation of the adverse effects of climate changes in Eritrea;
- To contribute to reducing poverty and enhancing rural development by means of improving current supply mechanisms and facilitating access to environmentally friendlier decentralised energy system via the improvement in the health and livelihoods of women-headed rural households through facilitating access to at least 20,000 efficient and affordable cooking stoves, promoting sustainable supply of cooking energy from local biofuel stocks through the enhancement of community forestry management and enhancing capacity of communities and government.
- Supply and installation for a PV system for the project ''Capacity Building for the Public Administration of Eritrea;
- Supply and Installation of PV stand-alone systems for 315 Community Courts in Eritrea.
The 40 mio Euro programme funded from the 10th EDF is expected to contribute to improving households' food security and the livelihoods of several hundreds of thousands of Eritrean and increase the production of high-value crops by up to 10%. The action will contribute to poverty reduction through sustainable socio-economic growth in rural areas and enhanced sustainability of rural livelihoods. The project consists of three components:
- Capital Investment for Sustainable Agriculture
- Access to Food
- Sector Governance
Support to the Office of the Auditor General – the project aims to contribute to promoting effectiveness, accountability and transparency of Public Financial Management (PFM) in Eritrea by promoting an accountable and transparent institutional auditing framework in Eritrea through the development, revision and implementation of manuals on financial audit and performance audits for the OAG, a general purpose audit manual for private audit firms, and the training of auditors.
This project aims to upgrade the skills and knowledge of civil servants, public administrators or managers in charge of planning and implementing the priority sectors of the National Development Plan. he Eritrean Centre of Organisational Excellence (ERCOE), in Embatkala, in charge of the project, intends to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of service provision in Eritrea. This project is in direct support of any EU sector support to Eritrea. Apart from training and education, rehabilitation of the ERCOE training centre is also undertaken.
Access to Justice (community courts) The overall objective of the project is to support the government's efforts to facilitate access to justice for the population of Eritrea. The purpose of the project is to improve the services provided by the Community Courts in Eritrea. The project includes a capacity-building component and infrastructure component. In the framework of the capacity-building component, the programme aims to fully integrate the traditional systems of community courts and customary law with the formal rule of law while the infrastructure of the community courts is modernised: selected courts are supplied with photovoltaic stand-alone systems for power supply and IT equipment.
Grassroots organisations and social dialogue (e.g. National Confederation of Eritrea Workers, National Chamber of Commerce, Eritrean Women in Agribusiness Association).
Technical Cooperation (includes studies, training, programming, capacity building)
This project is supporting capacity development at the Ministry of National Development and other government to facilitate the implementation of the Eritrean Government's activities related to development and, more particularly, to EU-funded projects. EU projects are implemented in a decentralised management approach through the NAO-Services, which ensures that activities are always aligned with the Government's policies. The project includes support to infrastructure as well as significant training components.
- e.g. contribute to the socio-economic development of Eritrea through an improved railway system. The contract funds the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the existing railway and the potential extension of the railway to the Western part of the country.
In the pipeline/11th EDF (countrywide)
- Energy for development (photovoltaic, wind, geothermal)