Development of Microgrid Research Center at BiT-BDU is targeted at conducting a laboratory scale microgrid test-bed and a prototype field-site proving ground that aim to enhance access to electricity, particularly in rural areas of Ethiopia. The center is establishing micro-grid laboratory that will serve as a resource for academic researchers, students and business consultants on the topic of microgrid-based electrification of the rural community.
Dr.-Ing. Belachew Bantyirga, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Development of Microgrid Research Center, said that the project, due to its limited budget and manpower, is not targeted to reach the whole rural community with access to electricity. But, it can have a valuable role in guiding and consulting different organizations, associations, investors and stakeholders in their efforts to provide an alternative electric power in places where the main electric power grid is not accessible.
One of the participants of the workshop, Dr.-Ing. Getachew Biru has, in his paper, pointed out that 57% of Ethiopian people do not have access to electricity. Putting it in figures , he noted that 58 million Ethiopians live without access to electricity, out of which 55 million live in rural and 3 million in urban areas, making it possible for Ethiopia to be among the countries having the lowest coverage of electricity. Therefore, the development of microgrid can serve as an important solution in electrification of the rural community.