Ethiopia building largest geothermal power plant

Geothermal energy24 October 2013, Addis Ababa – “Africa needs to open up to bring in the benefits of accelerated development to its peoples through availing sustainable energy supply,” says Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy as he addresses the Great Rift Valley Energy Summit in Addis Ababa.

He reminds the energy summit Africa has to choose “appropriate strategies to build climate resilient economy in the face of uncompromising facts of declining resource base to support economic growth and livelihood”.

His country set out, according to the Minister, a climate resilient green economy strategy to achieve middle income economy with low carbon emission until 2025.

The green strategy considers pillars like improving crop and livestock production practices, and protecting and re-establishing forests for their economic and eco-system services while it expands electric generation of renewable sources for domestic and regional markets.

He told the summit, that attracts businesses in the energy sector from around the world, Ethiopia has huge renewable energy wealth; an estimated hydro power at 45,000MW, geothermal energy estimated at 10,000MW, wind potential estimated at 1.3 million MW.

Figures also show Ethiopia provides an estimated average energy yield from solar power at about 1.992MW per square meter per annum indicating abundant solar energy sources in the country.

Reports say the Ethiopian Energy Ministry has already launched sector reform program to effectively implement energy policy objectives that favour green development.

Ethiopian government investment in the green energy sector has increased in number and size. Currently there are power plants under construction with a total estimated generation capacity of 8000MW. One such project is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with a generation capacity of 6,000MW.

According to recent reports the construction of the largest dam in Africa is complete by 25 per cent. Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said Ethiopia has been doing the construction of this great dam in a way it ensures mutual benefits among Nile Riparian countries.

He asserted upper stream countries have a lot to benefit once the construction of the dam comes to successful end.

Another renewable energy developing in Ethiopia is wind power; Ashegoda and Adama 1 projects are two such projects. There are more wind plants to come to increase the country’s renewable energy generation capacity.

Adama 2 Wind Power Project is under construction and has a capacity to generate 153MW. According to data from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, geothermal power plant field exploration is at an advanced stage in two places: Aluto and Tendaho Geothermal sites.

Reports suggest “at Aluto Langano there is a pilot plant already in operation. Recently Ethiopia Reykjavik Geothermal, a US-Icelandic company, has made a historic agreement to develop 1,000MW of geothermal energy in Ethiopia.

This geothermal plant in Ethiopia is going to be the largest single such plant ever built in the continent. The summit brings together global and regional companies from around the world.

– Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency

About the Author