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Ethiopia moving to scale up investments in solar

8th February 2019

By: John Muchira

Creamer Media Correspondent

     

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Ethiopia, which is scaling up investments in solar energy, has unveiled plans to build six projects with a combined capacity of 750 MW.

The six projects, estimated to cost $800-million, will be implemented under a public–private partnership framework.

The Finance Ministry has put out notices seeking investors interested in the projects, which are located in the Afar, Somali, Oromia and Tigray regions.

Ethiopia is also in the process of awarding the contract for two solar projects that will have a capacity of 125 MW each and are being supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the Scaling Solar programme.

The two projects, for which 12 companies have been prequalified, are located in the Somali and Afar regions.

“Solar power will help diversify Ethiopia’s energy mix and allow it to manage its water resources more effectively. This is vital, bearing in mind the severe droughts that have afflicted the country,” says the IFC.

Ethiopia has also awarded a contract to Italian energy firm Enel to construct a 100 MW solar power plant in Metehara, some 200 km from the capital, Addis Ababa.

The $120-million project is scheduled for completion this year and will sell power to State-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Despite Ethiopia being endowed with vast energy resources, including hydro, wind and geothermal, almost 60% of its 100-million citizens still do not have access to electricity.

For this reason, the Ethiopian government is accelerating investments in the energy sector to not only achieve universal access but also become a key exporter of electricity to neighbouring nations. The country has already signed power purchase agreements with Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.

Ethiopia has 4.3 GW of installed power generation capacity, comprising 3 810 MW of hydro, 324 MW of wind, 7 MW of geothermal and 143 MW of thermal generation.

To watch Creamer Media's latest video reports, click here
 

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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