Energy as a Driver of Development in Northern Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the electricity supply situation varies greatly between urban and rural regions. In order to ensure that Northern Afghanistan’s rural population also has secure access to energy, the German Government is supporting work to expand grid-based infrastructure.


Frequent power cuts are part and parcel of everyday life for the Afghan people – in many regions, if there is an electricity supply at all, it is too expensive and unreliable. Many towns, cities and municipalities need to be connected to the regional electricity grid in order to improve the lives of their residents. This is because access to electricity is a key requirement for economic growth and employment and therefore makes a major contribution to improving living conditions.


The programme aims to provide a reliable energy supply to residents of the Northern Afghan provinces and to companies and public institutions, thereby laying a key foundation for economic growth.

Measures & Results

The programme focuses on expanding the grid, connecting up local grids, and building new infrastructure where required in order to provide Northern Afghanistan with access to the electricity network. Building modern transmission and distribution grids makes it possible to improve the energy supply for households, companies, institutions and educational facilities in locations connected to the grid. Additional work to construct substations, power distribution lines and electrical connections has also served to significantly reduce the occurrence of power cuts. Additionally, this work is making it possible to increase the stability and reliability of the energy supply, reduce electricity losses and improve energy efficiency.

Advisory services and the delivery of on-the-job training by Afghan national power utility DABS are helping to build professional capacities to maintain and optimise the use of the new technologies, thereby contributing to increasing sustainable energy efficiency. There are plans to build a substation in Khulm District in the near future. As part of this process, modernisation work will be carried out on the distribution grids in Khulm, Mazar-e Sharif and other locations along the grid connection line.

Once all the planned construction measures have been completed, it will be possible to create up to 60,000 household connections, enabling up to 480,000 people to potentially benefit from the new grid connection. Taken together, the infrastructure measures are having a positive impact on the everyday lives of all residents and are also boosting economic growth in the northern provinces, as it is now also possible to guarantee a more reliable supply of energy to companies.

At a glance

Activities in the provinces Balkh, Samangan
Connecting Afghanistan’s northern towns, cities and municipalities to the grid (NEPS I and II)
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS - Afghanistan’s national power utility)
Implementing organisations:
KfW Development Bank
Balkh, Samangan
Programme objective:
Provide a reliable and suitably high-quality electricity supply to locations in Northern Afghanistan that are currently underserved.
Overall term:
August 2010 – July 2020