06 March 2014, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia and Kenya have secured a US$5 million grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility for Eastern Africa to develop renewable energy and reduce costs in the use of fuel to generate electricity. The program will co-finance surface studies and drilling projects aimed at developing largely untapped indigenous and renewable energy resource.
The agreement was signed by Ethiopia’s State Minister for Mines, Tewodros Egziabher and Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission. Ethiopia, 90% of whose energy comes from hydropower, also secured another grant of nearly US$1million close to conduct a study in the Dofan and Cobetti areas in the north of the country. It is also set to sign an additional US$5.6 million agreement with the Facility shortly to develop a 300mw project.
The State Minister for Mines said Ethiopia had the prospect of generating 10,000mw from geothermal energy from 22 potential areas which had been identified. The Commissioner said the African Union was now processing the second phase of the applications for the Facility from 11 countries in the region, including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility was established by African Union Commission in 2009, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.