This page presents an initial draft of the country profile on Ethiopia from the Off-Grid Lighting Assessment, a collaborative effort of the UNEP en.lighten initiative and the Lumina Project. This is one of 80 country profiles that estimate the savings potential and benefits of switching from fuel-based lighting to solar LED lanterns. For more information, please see the Overview and the assessment Methodology page. A list of all the countries profiled is provided on the Country Reports page. 

We are inviting LuminaNET members to review these initial draft reports, and post feedback under each relevant country profile including corrections, updated data, and impressions about the draft results. When posting comments or suggestions, please include supporting documentation (reports, spreadsheets, links, etc.) wherever possible. General comments on the project should be added to the Overview page and any technical comments about the model should be added to the Methodology page.

 A PDF copy of the report shown below is also available by clicking here: OGL_ETH_v1.pdf. Thank you for your help and input to this review.

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I have seen the draft assessment report before and i will see it again and try to give my feedback!! Well done UNEP en.lighten initiative and the Lumina Project.thank you for giving us such a detailed study report.

Dear Sirs,

thank you for all the great work done so far. Though your data inputs refer to 2010, what struck me first is the unit cost of kerosene (prevalently), candles, batteries for torches.  Working in rural areas myself (Tsere lamba - solar energy plc), my personal experience make me believe that such prices where already lower than my findings. Beside the average consumption of kerosene seems a little higher, instead. However, no dispute at all about these data which are quite indicative, but hope that envisaged up-dates, of a quite heterogeneous situation, could be fully comprehensive as much as possible. Apart actual (delivered) costs to end-users, effective currency depreciation, and relative cost escalation (inflation) should be taken into account for the update of such data. A foot note on these indicators could be considered too, in my view., The True Cost of Kerosene in Rural Africa by LA. could also help, in addition to other LA  studies (herewith attached). Other sources on Ethiopia could also be found on :, and .  Best regards, S. Chester           


Thank you very much for your contribution Salvatore.  This is extremely helpful and we will make corrections to the model to reflect the data you have provided here.  

Best regards,

UNEP en.lighten initiative

Thanks Michael and friends,

let me add a few points, just in case it may help.

1. Quite surprisingly the study of LA on kerosene prices (file attached) reflects quite well the current situation of Ethiopia, both the median cost increase of about 35% in rural areas vs urban median prices, and consequent adjusted payback period.

2. Confirmation may be needed about the current level of imported kerosene p.a. from MoWE.

3. In addition to what Evan suggested (below) in my view we should also consider an estimate of the widespread use of wood-fuel for lighting (yes lighting) and heating in our rural highlands. For sure my friend Yoseph could also help on this one too.  To me this aspect (wood-fire) has its own considerable cost element, in addition to environmental damages. Hope someone could come up with a specific study too.

Best regards . 

Agreed!  I've been collecting references to fuel wood for lighting over the years, and there are many.  This is one under-attended dimension of this whole issue.  Some discussion on pages 526-527 of this report.

Nepal -

China -

And there are other even more interesting "fuels" out there!

C.C. to Mike and friends (from discussion opened by Evan Mills),

Quite right Evan, and thank you.

Your data show how diverse is the extent and impact of wood fuel in different countries. In the 5 African countries considered, the average of daily plus 2-3 times a week frequency is 70%.
Evidently here this aspect is not negligible and has a considerable cost impact , beside the rest, on rural families.

For updating  "The country data : Ethiopia" in particular, it may be appropriate to consider also the fact that because of actual deforestation (starting from inhabited surroundings) the availability of fire wood is decreasing continuously, and requiring longer trips to fetch it. Thus purchases become necessary and increasingly higher. If such is the case, then this 'cost burden' should also be quantified and considered in the source's pricing list, to me, right after kerosene and before candles.


For 95% of the respondents, firewood is the main source of cooking energy. the majority of them use 5 kg per day to cook food. chopped trees and branches are the most answered response as to the type of firewood collected. the number of respondents who said that they use firewood for lighting purpose are many which needs urgent intervention and further study.i can say that the use of firewood for lighting and cooking purpose is creating an environmental damage apart from the health problem from indoor air pollution.

Best regards,

Hi Yoseph. Berta !
What you guys are doing is extremely important. Allow me to add that in addition to relevant studies on our chronic energy poverty, lighting in particular in this context, what matter most, to me, are the multipurpose actions we take to redress this situation, involving every interested party, starting from the very responsible ones. That is why I invite you to connect also to: Keep it up!

Thanks Salvatore for your encouragement and the link to TEA Ethiopia.

I am currently analysing a socio-economic survey conducted as part of the Global Climate Change Alliance Project in 5 regions of Ethiopia consisting of 3000 rural households. The majority of the respondents said that they pay 20 birr (around 1 US dollar) for one liter of Lamba (Kerosene) and they use 1-2 liters per week. Working in rural areas myself this is the current situation.I live in Addis Ababa and I know many people who use kerosene buying one liter the same amount.there is a currency devaluation and many other happenings since the last study but the very fact that such kind of study has been done is a big success in my perspective.Congratulations and thank you.

Thanks very much for this input.  Your database sounds impressive.  Will there be any publications coming out of it?

Can you educate us about the status of other lighting fuels in Ethiopia, particularly candles? 

Hi, Evans

As far as I know, a good part of candles used in Ethiopia are imported, or have the raw material (petrol sub-product) imported. I fully agree with you about the necessity of further specific study. Apart its unhealthy and expensive use in off-grid areas, its is widely used in cities and towns too, to make do for unreliable grid supply. Besides its widely used (even day time) for religious ceremonies across the country, in addition to the locally made twaff (candle), made of bees wax. I understand this issue has a triple significance for us here: the environmental, economical and import substitution. Are batteries next ? B/regards.   




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