Ethiopia has immense biomass and non-biomass resources potential for the development of cogeneration technology. Sustainable yield that can be harvested as fuel wood, coffee husk, cotton stalk and bagasse are estimated to be about 75, 0.45, 37, 400 and 1.6 million tons per annum in that order while exploitable reserve potential of natural gas and coal are about 160 billion m3 and 40.65 million tons, respectively.
This study was designed with the objective of assessing potential resources available for the development of combined heat and power (CHP) technology- ongoing and planned CHP projects on the one hand, and on the other hand to identify the most promising institutions that could benefit from cogeneration; private, governmental and non-governmental organizations with a track record in undertaking market and stakeholder opinion surveys and have technical capacity to enroll in the development of cogeneration in Ethiopia. To achieve this objective, data was gathered using desk-document review, baseline survey, field visits, interviews and discussions.
The study indicated that there are several industries which can easily benefit from cogeneration technology by simply modifying the existing systems, mainly, factories like textile, pharmaceutical, metal, brewery, tea, cement, etc. However, there is no adequate know-how among the technical personnel. There are nevertheless various governmental, non- governmental and private companies which have track record in the development and promotion of renewable energy. They also have reasonable experiences and skills to carry out market and stakeholder surveys for the dissemination of cogeneration technology. However, the technology has not yet been widely disseminated in the country. It has been limited to sugar factories at very small scale level. Besides inadequate know how of the technical personnel about CHP technology in factories using steam for industrial production processes, failure to incorporate CHP technology during the design period of industries and lack of feed in tariff law are the major problems that hinder the development of the technology.
In order to overcome the above problems associated with the development of cogeneration/combined heat and power related energy efficiency measures in Ethiopia, the author makes the following three major recommendations: (1) Policy makers need to issue feeding tariff law initiated by GTZ as soon as possible and offer training to build the capacity of technical personnel who are working in different industries; (2) Private, governmental and non-governmental organizations, which have track record in the development of renewable energy technologies have to be encouraged to participate in the development of CHP technology and harness multiple benefits particularly in rural institutions such as hospitals, schools and tourist entities; and (3) Users have to give priority to the cumulative effects or life-cycle cost of the CHP technology rather than its initial cost since the technology saves considerable fuel, as compared to conventional technologies.