Chinese study of Ethiopia shows 1300 GW potential of wind energy


HCIE in a joint-venture with Chinese construction group CGCOC recently completed a 51MW wind farm near Nazareth (Adama), equipped with 34 Goldwind 1.5MW wind turbines.

Ethiopia’s wind resource amounts to over 1,300GW according to an assessment study recently completed by HydroChina International Engineering Company (HCIE) financed by the Chinese government.

The cooperation between Ethiopia and China in the power sector has registered remarkable achievements in hydro and wind power construction projects, said Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopian Minister of Water and Energy.

The minister made the remarks at the Handover Ceremony of Publication of Wind Power & Solar Energy Master Plan and also Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Hydropower Potential General Survey of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.

The study of Wind and Solar Master Plan was conducted and delivered to Ethiopia by Hydro-China Corporation (HYDROCHINA) with the financial support from the Chinese government.

The Hydro-China Corporation and the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy also signed a MoU for the study on hydropower potential of Ethiopia.

“Today, we have seen together a real and fruitful cooperation between Ethiopia and China, which has paved the way for us to develop our wind and solar resources,” said Alemayehu.

He also commended the Chinese government for the financial support and hailed Hydro-China Corporation for its excellent performance.

“As you have witnessed, today we all have aware that our country has a potential installed capacity of over 1.3 million MW from wind resource and an annual total solar energy reserve of over 2 million TW.h, through the study of Wind and Solar Master Plan of our country, conducted and delivered to us by Hydro-China Corporation with the financial support of the Government of China, ” said the minister.

The minister said, “The study indicated that Ethiopia owns very rich wind and solar energy resources that can be exploited as renewable energy mix in the coming decades to implement the recently issued Climate-Resilient Green Economy strategy with respect to energy development,” said the minister.

“I would like to sincerely thank the Chinese government, who has rendered economic aid gratuitously for the study and appreciate the excellent work performed by Hydro-China Corporation in the realization of the country’s grid connected wind and solar master plan document, which will enable us to take informed decision in the development of our wind and solar resources in the future,” he said.

Reiterating that China and Ethiopia enjoy long-standing friendly relations, Wei Hongtian, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said China would continue to render various assistance and support to Ethiopia.

Wei said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the Ethio-China cooperation on renewable energy sector, in which the Adama Wind Power Station is a new achievement.

He also expressed firm belief that the cooperation between the two countries in clean and renewable energy development would have broader and brighter prospect.

“The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has just concluded in China last month. The Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015) of the Conference declares that China and Africa will further actively advance cooperation in clean energy and renewable resources projects in keeping with the principles of mutual benefit and sustainable development. I am sure the cooperation between China and Ethiopia in this sector will have broader and brighter prospect,” said Wei.

Wang Bin, President of Hydro-China Corporation, expressed his company’s commitment to Ethiopia’s wind power and renewable energy development.

“As the leading organization in the field of wind power development, we have successfully constructed Adama Wind Power Project with Ethiopia Electric Power Corporation,” said Wang.

“Besides, HYDROCHINA are willing to share its achievements and experience with the Ethiopian government and people, not only in the construction of Adama wind power project, but also in proposed Adama?wind power project, which will be supported by concessional loan of the Chinese government and Ethiopian government,” Wang said.

“HYDROCHINA commits himself for long term development with investment in large construction machinery, which will improve the equipment status and construction capability of Ethiopia. We also plans to invest in manufacturing of Blades and Towers in Ethiopia, which will rapidly forming the production capability and promote the develop wind power industry and accelerate industrialization,” he said.

He also said HYDROCHINA will contribute more on specification & standard of wind power development and construction of Ethiopian renewable energy field, enhance the friendship of the two nations and cope with the climate change together.

To expedite the development of the country’s renewable energy resources and to increase the energy mix, the Ethiopian government entered into an agreement with the Chinese government to undertake the country’s wind and solar energy resource assessment Master Plan in 2010, recalled Minister Alemayehu.

On Feb. 22, 2011, HYDROCHINA formally entrusted Hydro-China International to organize and manage the Master Plan, and Beijing Engineering Corporation undertook the implementation and design of the Master Plan, he said.

Alemayehu said the current total installed electricity generation capacity of Ethiopia has reached 2,178 MW from its baseline level of 800 MW only three years ago.

“The delivery of an adequate electricity service is essential to fulfill the high growth rate of electricity demand the generation capacity will increase to 10,000 MW at the end of Growth and Transformation Plan (2010/11-2014/15), thus meeting the existing high rate of growth of electricity demand in Ethiopia and also allowing the export of the surplus power to the region,” he said.

To this end, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, which has 6,000 MW installed capacity, is going on at a rapid pace according to the schedule. At present more than 10.5 percent of the project work is completed, said the minister.