The World Bank has approved a US$178.5m credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and another US$24.5m grant from Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) Trust Fund to help the Ethiopian Government in its effort in developing energy resources to boost electricity supply to its citizens.
Ethiopia has a considerable renewable energy endowment, with an abundant hydropower potential, solar and geothermal, as well fossil fuels. The country expects to have 75% electricity coverage throughout the country by the end of 2014/2015. The project seeks to strengthen energy security and ensure a sustainable supply in the country and increase the level of electricity produced to 10,00MW from the current 2,00MW.
Guang Zhe Chen, the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia indicated that in addition to providing energy security, the project will support Ethiopia’s efforts to build a climate resilient green economy, by developing renewable energy sources with low carbon emissions.
The project is to be realized in two phases. In the first phase, two potential geothermal sites; Aluto and Alalobad, will be developed. An institutional framework for geothermal development will also be established during this phase. The steam resources developed and identified in the first phase will be used to generate electricity in the second phase.
Geothermal energy is suitable for developing countries since it is clean, reliable, and it is a locally-produced power. If used strategically, it can help curb the continent’s energy deficiency.