Who would have thought that news about a leading role in Africa will come from Ethiopia with regard to renewable Energy? But it is a fact: Ethiopia is promoting the aspired economic integration in the continent by harmonising its renewable energy potential and create regional integration with neighboring countries by developing its resources and supplying it to neighboring countries.
Speaking for the African Union: “As AU we are promoting integration and again Ethiopia is one of the countries that shows good example of integration by providing electricity to Sudan, Djibouti, and the various agreement supply energy for other countries.” By harmonising its renewable energy sources, Ethiopia not only will be enable to boost its economy but also can stimulate growth in other countries. In this regard, neighboring countries are expecting clean and affordable electricity supply from the East African nation.
Apart from hydro, Ethiopia is rich with other renewable energy sources including geothermal. It is estimated that the country has the potential to generate 10,000 MW power from geothermal. In this regard, the African Union is support Ethiopia in the development of more than eight thermal projects, he noted.
In 2012, the African body along with other partners has mobilized more than 150 million USD to support geothermal energy development in East Africa. Currently, AU is supporting 27 projects in East African countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Rwanda and Burundi. “We hope these potential could be developed for the benefit of the Ethiopian people and for the benefit of neighboring countries,” it was stated from the AU.
By developing its potential – up to 45,000 MW from hydro, over 10,000 MW from geothermal and 1 million MW from wind, Ethiopia will be an energy hub. The AU elaborates: “We observe that Ethiopia they have remarkable success in developing their potential in hydro energy and the result that it also become the hub of supplying electricity to neighboring countries.” However, they underscored the need for active private investment in the sector so as to properly develop the sources, mentioning Kenya’s case which he said is more advanced in engaging the private sector in the area. In this regard, they urged the need to engage the private sector in the energy sector. “What I can urge Ethiopia and other countries to accelerate the effort to engage the private sector in the energy sector.”
By engaging all stakeholders in energy development, the AU concludes that it is possible to increase access to clean and affordable energy in the continent.
Well done, Ethiopia, leading by example is a rare treat on the continent!
“We can say that the sustainability of energy is very important, because we need to look at the structure on the system; we need to look at the cost of the energy. So, we can create sustainable energy sector in the continent,” he said.