October 24, 2010 (ETHIOPIA) – Ethiopia will meet an ambitious vision of becoming leading energy exporter in East Africa, the countries state Ministry of Industry has said.
Speaking at the first symposium on financing energy infrastructure in Eastern Africa held in Addis Ababa, state minister, Tadesse Haile said on Friday that in the next few years nation will invest $17 billion in the sector to meet the ambitious target of being regional powerhouse.
At the symposium, GTZ country director, Ulrich Mohr said his organization would strengthen its support to the development of renewable energy in Ethiopia.
According to the state-run News agency, Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency (ERTA), the state minister has extended invitations to investors to engage in the energy sector in Ethiopia.
The horn of Africa’s nation says it has achieved double digit economic growth for the last seven years.
Power demand has boosted up the country’s power generating capacity from 800 megawatts (MW) some years ago to 2,000MW now.
The Ministry of Industry said that the current power generation capacity of the country will increase to 10,000 MW in the coming years.
Ethiopia has initial agreements to export 200 megawatts to Sudan, 500 megawatts to Kenya and 200 megawatts to Djibouti. It is also considering a 26 km undersea cable to export electricity to Yemen via Djibouti.
Ethiopia is said to have a potential to generate up to 45,000 MW of electric power from water.
So far, however, it has only managed to generate only 3.5 percent of that amount
The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) in a statement this week said that it will begin generating 30 MW of electric power using wind from February 2011.
The country will generate a total of 120 megawatt electric power using wind after the three projects currently being under construction at a cost of over 210 million Euros went into completion.