Of the 71 clean power generation projects that Ethiopia plans to develop in the country by 2030, it will choose to build the ones first that are low cost, which would mean solar. (Photo Credit: Ethiopian Electric Power)
- EEPC has announced its plans to build 71 power generation projects in Ethiopia
- It will comprise 14 solar power plants, out of which 2 are ready to enter construction
- Aqua Power of Saudi Arabia is to build the 2 solar power projects, according to the EEPC
- It estimates an investment worth $40 billion to build the capacity, through public private partnership
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World famous as the originating nation of coffee beans, Ethiopia wants to make its mark in the clean energy domain, which would be at least some good news for the country that has been caught in a fierce civil war over the last few months. The African country’s national electricity utility Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC) plans to invest $40 billion in cleaner energy.
According to the utility’s plans, over the next decade it wants to build 71 clean energy generation projects, a list that would comprise 16 hydro, 24 wind, 17 steam and 14 solar energy facilities in the country. However, it did not reveal capacity allocation for the facilities planned.
While this is the broad objective, the utility would select to build those projects earlier that can be built at a low cost. Of the solar power projects, 2 are reported to be built by Saudi Arabian major solar developer ACWA Power that is starting to prepare for construction to begin on site.
It wants to involve private companies since the ‘planned power projects cannot be achieved by the government alone’. The utility said it plans to raise the required investment with finances planned to be raised from international lenders as the African Development Bank, World Bank, among other development lenders and partners. The EEPC and the Ethiopian government too will shell out some share.
According to The Africa Report, the country plans to increase its overall electricity generating capacity from 4.2 GW now to around 35 GW by 2037, and these projects are to help it reach the target.
While the country is part of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar initiative and has awarded a 250 MW to ACWA Solar under the same as well as tendered 750 MW under round 2. In March 2021, the World Bank approved $500 million for the country’s National Electrification Program with funds to be used for solar PV deployment, among others (see World Bank: $500 Million For Ethiopia’s Electrification). As the Scaling Solar projects in Ethiopia were delayed, it is likely that the non-identified EEPC PV projects refer to these installations.
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar is also set to develop 500 MW solar power capacity here under a memorandum of understanding signed with the Ethiopian government in March 2021 (see Masdar To Develop 500 MW Solar PV Capacity In Ethiopia).