Wind power in Ethiopia: huge wind energy potential (1,000 GW)

Ethiopia has the potential to generate 1 million megawatt of power from wind energy, a report released Thursday in Addis Ababa revealed. Hydro China Corporation conducted the US$1.5 million survey, which was meant to evaluate the country’s potential for a wind power plant.

In the coming year, the nation will generate 171 MW of wind power. A wind farm has already received the thumbs up and has been lauded, as it is safe for the environment. But analysts say that the country would need huge investments and time in order to tap the resources, which they say represent a huge potential for Africa.

Ethiopia has already invested heavily in Africa’s biggest dam, over the Nile River, which is expected to generate around 6,000 MW of power in the coming three to four years.

The Horn of Africa country is expected to launch a 171 MW wind farm by 2013 with the help of the French government. France is set to invest €210 million to finance its first ever wind farm project.

Developed by the Vergnet Group, a French wind turbine manufacturer and wind farm developer, the Ashegoda Wind Farm is expected to help scale-up the country’s power demand. According to statistics from the Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCo), power demand is growing annually by around 24 per cent.

Ethiopia, which has signed deals to supply power to Djibouti, Sudan and Kenya, is currently undertaking other multi-billion hydro power projects, as part of the country’s plan to reach a power generating capacity of around 10,000 MW in the next five years.

Power supplies to Djibouti have since commenced, while preparations are underway for the supply of power to Sudan and Kenya in near future.