Ethiopia turns to hydro power

2010-01-19 13:21

kalahari.com

  • Reef Fishes and Corals
    This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along... Now R175.00
    buy now

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia, which has just inaugurated its largest hydro-electric power station to date, hopes to soon complete a programme that will generate not only enough power for the country's needs but also for export.

The Gilegel Gibe II dam inaugurated last Wednesday is 250km south of the capital Addis Ababa on the River Omo. The new station, which cost €281m and which was financed partly by Italy, will produce 420 megawatts (MW).

The plant is 3km downstream from a first hydro-electric dam Gilegel Gibe I.

A third dam, Gilegel Gibe III, was started further downstream still, and is one-third completed, according to the authorities, who expect it to become operational in 2013. It will have a capacity of 400MW.

On the Blue Nile, to the West, another hydro-electric plant at Tana Beles is nearly finished and will come online in March, according to the Ethiopian government. It will have the capacity to produce 460MW.

Problems

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a champion of renewable energies, stressed at the inauguration ceremony for the dam that it "is possible to speed up development without polluting the environment".

He also reaffirmed that his government "wants to double the country's energy capacity over the current level of 860MW in the next five years".

But the focus on hydraulic resources is causing problems with Ethiopia's neighbours, particularly now that a fourth dam is planned on the Omo River.

In June Addis Ababa and Nairobi held talks on Gilegel Gibe III. The Kenyan government has not opposed the dam but environmental and civil society groups in Kenya argue that the project will have serious environmental consequences as the Omo River feeds into Lake Turkana.

Numerous experts, including the Kenyan palaeo-anthropologist and ecologist Richard Leakey, have said the project will have a "catastrophic effect" on the environment and on those living downstream from the dam as well as on the ecosystem of Lake Turkana, situated in a very arid region.

Likewise, taking water from the Blue Nile has also triggered recurrent disputes with Egypt to the north.

Ethiopia has branched out into new means of clean energy production. The country has invested in a wind farm, which will be Africa's biggest, currently under construction in the northern Tigray region in partnership with French company Vergnet. It should be producing 120MW by 2012.

Electricity deals

In October, Ethiopa encouraged companies to invest in the country's geothermal resources, which could, if fully exploited, the government said, produce 5 000MW against the 7MW currently produced.

Ethiopia has signed deals to export electricity to Sudan and Djibouti.

The authorities have said they will not start exporting electricity to the neighbours until the country's internal requirements, estimated at 1 200MW, have been met.

But those internal requirements keep on rising, notably because of the electrification programmes undertaken for the country's 80 million inhabitants, and because of the construction of new factories, such as cement and glass works, both heavy consumers of electricity.

- SAPA

Read more on:    east africa  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
  • Monday Somerset West - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.