An Ethiopian Journal

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Ethiopia signs deal for largest wind farm in Africa

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AFP – October 10, 2008

Ethiopia expects its new wind farm to produce 120 megawatts within the next 30 months

Ethiopia expects its new wind farm to produce 120 megawatts within the next 30 months


ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopia on Thursday signed a 220-million-euro (300 million dollar) deal with a French company for the construction of Africa’s largest wind farm.

The contract was inked by representatives of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC) and French wind turbine manufacturer Vergnet.

The wind farm is expected to produce 120 megawatts within two and half years, making it the largest such project on the continent.

“This is a very strategic project for us. The first (largest) in Africa for wind energy production with 120 megawatts, that is to say 15 percent of our present capacity,” EEPC chairman Meheret Debebe said.

“This project will help us to fill the gap of hydrological risks we are facing in Ethiopia with the droughts,” he explained.

Ethiopia has been chronically hit by droughts, affecting the humanitarian plight of millions as well as crippling its electricity production, which is heavily reliant on hydroelectric dams.

The landlocked Horn of Africa country — Africa’s second most populous — is currently experiencing a severe drought and has been plagued by incessant power cuts in recent months.

“This contract is a very important one cause with a budget in excess of 200 million euros it will be the largest wind farm in Africa,” French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac said at the signing ceremony.

“It is also very symbolic of France’s commitment to developing renewable energies,” she added.


Written by Tseday

October 10, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Ethiopia

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. This is great! Wind energy is one of the untapped energy sources in Ethiopia.

    According to reliable sources, Ethiopia is one of the few African countries with the potential to produce hydroelectric and geothermal power. As of mid-1991, however, no comprehensive assessment of this potential was available, although some estimates indicated that the total potential could be as much as l43 billion kilowatts. The main sources of this potential were thought to be the Abay (Blue Nile; 79.9 billion kilowatts), the Shebele (2l.6 billion kilowatts), and the Omo (l6.l billion kilowatts). The remaining 25.9 billion kilowatts would come from rivers such as the Tekezé, Awash, Baro, Genale, and Mereb.

    Ethiopia has an estimated potential of 1000mw of power (an equivalent of a medium size Nuclear plant) from geothermal energy located in the Denakil region. Ethiopia has the largest portion of the rift system that stretches 1500kms, and the potential of geothermal power is expected to be even more than that. The Icelandic nation, that is troubled by the current financial crisis, could do a fine job in helping Ethiopia with this kind of project.

    If we could only be patient and wait for the sophisticated, environmental friendly, renewable source of energy to reach our country, we would be able to short-cut the “industrial” age, and reach the next generation of technological advancement, without major health-related complications, like in the industrialized world.

    Mind you, the equivalent of a 1000MW geothermal power plant alone could save 20 million tonnes of CO2 each year. Importing crude oil or digging for petroleum and gas won’t be necessary. I pray that we don’t abuse our fossils.


    October 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm

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