Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy Joins African Energy Week (AEW) 2024 as East African Energy Demand Grows

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy Joins African Energy Week (AEW) 2024 as East African Energy Demand Grows

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy Joins African Energy Week (AEW) 2024 as East African Energy Demand Grows
Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy Joins African Energy Week (AEW) 2024 as East African Energy Demand Grows

African Energy Chamber

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy Habtamu Itefa Geleta will speak at the African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy 2024 conference – scheduled for November 4–8 in Cape Town. The event is the biggest of its kind in Africa and the participation of Minister Geleta underscores Ethiopia’s commitment to advancing its energy sector through significant investments and strategic international partnerships.

Ethiopia’s current installed power generation capacity is measured at 5.2 GW, with plans in place to increase this figure to 17 GW within the next decade. While renewable energy constitutes a primary energy source for the country, the confirmation of seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Ogaden Basin by the government in 2022 has opened up new investment avenues for energy companies. A largely undeveloped sector, natural gas stands to transform both the country and broader region’s energy matrix. During the AEW: Invest in African Energy conference, Minister Geleta will unpack the country’s potential in this area, engaging with investors and regional counterparts.

AEW: Invest in African Energy is the platform of choice for project operators, financiers, technology providers and government, and has emerged as the official place to sign deals in African energy. Visit www.AECWeek.com for more information about this exciting event.

Ethiopia has the potential to generate over 60 GW of electricity from hydroelectric, wind, solar and geothermal sources. Hydropower remains the dominant source in the country, contributing over 90% of the country’s electricity, exemplified by projects like the 6 GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the 2.1 GW Koysha Hydro Power dam by the Omo River. In January 2024, the dam was 94% complete, and once operational, it will become the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s wind sector is growing with projects such as the Ashegoda and Adama wind farms – generating more than 350 MW in total. The state-owned Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) signed a $600 million deal in December 2023 for a new 300 MW wind farm in the eastern Somali region with UAE-based project developer AMEA Power. In the solar industry, the EEP signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to advise on developing up to 500 MW of solar power under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program – an initiative that supports solar expansion worldwide. The government views private sector collaboration as a catalyst for project development and companies are invited to join the market through public-private partnerships and independent power producer programs.  

Alongside wind and solar, the country’s geothermal potential is estimated at over 10 GW. There is a projected $35 billion investment pipeline planned for Ethiopia and Kenya to develop geothermal in the East African Rift, highlighting the potential in this area. By 2050, these two countries are expected to produce 90% of the planned 13 GW of geothermal energy in Africa.

Meanwhile, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently allocated $8 million this month to support Ethiopia’s Renewable Energy and Agriculture Modalities mini-grid program, developed in collaboration with the Global Alliance for People and Planet and key Ethiopian government bodies. This initiative aims to integrate mini-grids with agribusiness operations, with up to 50% of the program’s funding sourced from the AfDB-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, providing concessional loans, grants and risk mitigation. Additionally, the AfDB has approved a $104 million grant for a transmission project aimed at enhancing Ethiopia’s electricity supply. The project involves constructing 157 km of transmission lines and associated substations near the cities of Harar, Jijiga, and Farem.

“Ethiopia is taking a proactive stance in fostering sustainable energy development and collaboration with international stakeholders. The country is leading a just energy transition, prioritizing the development of all available energy resources. Offering a wealth of opportunity for natural gas and renewable energy players alike, Ethiopia stands to play a central role in meeting East Africa’s demand for energy in the long-term,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

During AEW: Invest in Africa Energy 2024, Minister Geleta will participate in high-level panel discussions and spotlight sessions, showcasing Ethiopia’s investment potential and highlighting the government’s proactive approach towards sustainable energy development.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.