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CTCN in Ethiopia: New product standards for an ancient cooking tool could lead to significant energy savings


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The government of Ethiopia has developed energy efficiency targets in order to reduce demands on the country’s electricity system, powered mainly by hydro power. Ethiopia’s household sector accounts for 89% of total energy consumption, and electric mitads (cookstoves utilized for traditional Ethiopian injera bread) are the most prevalent and energy-intensive appliances. While an electric mitad is believed to have been on the market for at least 40 years, its energy efficiency has been little improved during that time.

“The Energy Efficiency standard and labeling on locally manufactured electric stoves shall be a priority and urgent issue to be addressed in Ethiopia. The energy savings obtained could be used for rural electrification, manufacturing, industrialization, and export programs contributing to the sustained rapid and broad–based economic growth of the country. Therefore, this project will have a significant impact both on product standards, energy efficiency and GHG emissions,” noted Ms. Yamelakesira Tamene Bekele, CTCN National Designated Entity of Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Energy Authority, therefore, sought to develop mitad energy efficiency standards and a labelling program. It worked together with CTCN Network members Motiva Services of Finland and Ethiopian-based Swan Management to develop a testing procedure for measuring and certifying the energy performance of locally manufactured electric stoves. The team also formulated a capacity building and communication strategy for transferring technology knowledge to local manufacturers and for informing the public about energy efficient stoves.

The short-term impact of this technology collaboration is that through the use of energy efficiency standards for electric mitad production and certification, the stove’s energy efficiency will improve and generate less demand on Ethiopia’s electric system. In the longer term, as rural electrification progresses throughout the country, energy efficient electric stoves can become an attractive alternative to wood stoves and thereby reduce deforestation, improve air quality in homes, reduce time spent on fuelwood collection, and make a 20% contribution to Ethiopia’s total potential for emission reduction annually by 2030.

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