Subtitle/Alternate Title

Case study: Designing decentralized solar energy solution for a remote village of Maji community

First Advisor

Joshua Knight

Second Advisor

David Gipson

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Nina Miller


Regis College

Degree Name

Master of Development Practice

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Ethiopia has a population of more than 112 million people (2019), which makes the country the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, and nearly 80% of the population live in the rural area. The current electrification status of Ethiopia shows only 45% of the country is electrified out of which 34% on grid and only 11% off-grid. As part of National Electrification Program 2 (NEP-2), the government’s off-grid program provides a strategic plan for the use of mixed off-grid energy solutions of which about 30% is planned to use decentralized off-grid solar energy solutions such as solar home systems and standalone solar applications for rural household use and small-scale business (MOWIE, 2021a).

Number of Pages

106 pages


The main objective of this capstone paper is to identify the barriers in developing sustainable solar-powered electricity for rural Ethiopia and to review solutions and access the practical challenges using a case study called “Maji Decentralized Off-grid Solar Energy Project (MDOSEP)”. The findings in the case study showed that even though there are many challenges in providing solar solutions for an entire rural community, it is possible to have an impact step-by-step using different approaches. The project used PAYGO payment option for distribution of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in which customers pay a deposit, and commit to making ongoing payments, and collaborated with the private sector, NGOs, and regional government agencies to raise funds for large scale community based solar solutions. The project in the case study has been able to achieve distribution of more than 300 SHSs, installation of a 15.6 kWp solar water pumping system for drinking and a 33.3 kWp solar system for Maji Hospital. The project started engaging Women Self-help Groups and working to reach out to more households and serve community needs in the area.

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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