Ethiopia has announced plans to accelerate investments in the energy sector after a new study showed the Horn of Africa nation has vast wind and solar energy potential.
The study revealed that Ethiopia has the capacity to generate over 1.3-million megawatts from wind resources and that it boasts a yearly total solar energy reserve of over 2 MWh.
“The study indicates that Ethiopia has very rich wind and solar energy resources that can be exploited in the coming decades,” says Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu.
He adds that the study will enable Ethiopia to make informed decisions on the devel- opment of wind and solar resources in the future.
The study, conducted by Hydro-China Corporation at a cost of $1.5-million, has given Ethiopia new impetus to invest in clean energy resources in line with the Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy launched late last year. The strategy, to be implemented over the next two decades at an estimated cost of $150-billion, is anchored in Ethiopia’s ambition to become a low-carbon middle- income economy. Its main aims are fostering economic development and growth, slashing greenhouse-gas emissions and supporting adaptation to climate change.
According to Tegenu, Ethiopia will fast-track investments in the energy sector to meet rising demand and to become a net exporter of electricity to neighbouring countries.
Wind Energy projects
The country is currently undertaking several wind energy projects, including the Ashegoda wind farm project, with a capacity of 120 MW; the Adama I and II projects, with an installed capacity of 51 MW each; the Assela project (100 MW); the Ayisha project (300 MW); and the Messobo project (42 MW).
Also being implemented are mega hydro projects like the 5 250 MW Great Renaissance Dam, the 1 800 MW Gibe III hydropower plant and the Gibe IV and Gibe V plants, which will generate 1 472 MW and 560 MW respectively.
Over the past three years, the country increased the total installed capacity from 800 MW to 2 178 MW.