Earth, Wind, Fire – Ethiopia Exploits Renewable Energy Resources

One of the strategies being used to blaze the trail to a Green Economy, is Ethiopia’s pace-setting strides in exploiting its various renewable energy resources, with interested development partners contributing to secure their interests. A study financed by the Norwegian government and conducted by a German firm, found that Ethiopia has the capacity of generating 45,000MW of hydropower, 1,000MW of geothermal energy and 10,000MW of wind and solar energy.

Fortune takes delight in sharing the good news as it did in Electric Power Signs Groundbreaking Agreement to Buy Geothermal Energy. (Vol. 15, No. 777, Mar 22, 2015). As one of the beneficiary countries of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the country is contributing its share to achieve the objective of increasing electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by 30,000MW and 60 million connections. One rich source of alternative energy being tapped is geothermal energy which recently brought about a public private partnership when Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the first time signed a power purchase agreement a private sector company, Corbetti Geothermal Plc, to buy up to 500MW of electric power generated from the Corbetti geothermal source near Hawassa. Two other power purchase agreements are in the pipeline with all three projects representing a total investment of some four billion dollars over 10 years. Meanwhile, the European Commission has committed as part of a soft loan, 7.5 million euros for the development of geothermal energy in the Tehdaho area in Afar, (Vol. 15, No. 781, Apr. 19, 2015)

With 13 months of sunshine luring tourists, solar energy is also being exploited for electricity as the story Rural Electrification Introduces Contributions to Green Economy. The name of a new five-year project called ‘Promoting Sustainable Rural Energy for Household and Productive Uses,’ speaks for itself.

Another flagship on the way to the Climate Change Resilient Green Economy is the use of wind to generate electricity. Adama II wind power generating farm was launched and will make a meaningful contribution to realising the renewable energy mix.

Of course the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will place hydropower firmly and substantially in the mix.

Published on Sep 07,2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 801]



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