Electrifying Ethiopia With Renewable Energy

The population of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is approximately 115.72 million people[1]. In 2018, 44.9% of the people in this country located in the “Horn of Africa” had  access to electricity[2].

In 2016, Ethiopia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[3], committing to a 64% reduction in business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to a 3% reduction from greenhouse gas emission levels in 2010.

In 2018, Ethiopia’s economy was ranked 64th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[4]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of minerals, timber, and agricultural products like coffee, flowers, and maize.

In 2018, the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), used renewable energy (90.5%) and oil (9.5%) to generate electricity in the country[5].Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy in Ethiopia.

In 2018, the Government of Ethiopia announced a program to achieve universal electrification across the country. The country has recently launched a ten year energy strategy designed to increase renewable energy generation by four-fold.

New, renewable energy projects in Ethiopia include:

  • 254 MW Hydropower Project – Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed recently commissioned the Genale Dawa III hydropower dam, which is located in approximately 390 miles southeast of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis, Ababa.
  • 100 MW Wind Farm Spanish renewable energy company, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has begun construction on the Assela wind farm, which is located approximately 95 miles south of Addis Ababa.
  • 70 MW Geothermal Project – Chinese oil services company, Kerui Petroleum has begun drilling operations on the Aluto-Langano Geothermal Project, which is located approximately 120 miles southeast of Addis Ababa.
  • 20 MW Waste-To-Energy Project – State-owned Ethiopian Electrical Power (EEP) has commenced operations on Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project, which converts 1,400 tons of waste per day in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia has vast, undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal. The Government of Ethiopia is investing wisely in renewable energy to provide clean, green, and cost-effective power to provide electricity for the country’s future.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


[1] Ethiopia Population (2020) –  October 10, 2020 www.worldometers.info

[2] Ethiopia – The World Bank Group

[3] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[4] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[5] International Energy Agency – Ethiopia Energy Outlook, November 9, 2019

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