Nordics offer energy solutions to Ethiopia

2019-11-02
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The Nordic countries offered energy solutions to assist Ethiopia in harnessing renewable energy resources.

The Nordic countries expressed their commitments to share their rich experiences to Ethiopia in a seminar held on Thursday at the Addis Ababa Radisson Blu Hotel. The Embassies of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland organized the consultative meeting in collaboration with Nordic Energy Research aimed at heightening the security of the energy supply in Ethiopia by applying successful and sustainable energy solutions from the Nordic countries.

In her key note address Unnur Ramette Ambassador of Iceland pointed out that only 35 percent of the African population has access to electricity and African countries’ prospect of expanding their electricity network is challenging. Ambassador Ramette expressed the Nordic countries commitment through the “Nordic Energy Solutions”, an initiative launched by Nordic Prime Ministers, to assist the development of renewable energy resources in Ethiopia. “

Ambassador Ramette noted that Nordic companies are pursuing for the export technology and competence. However, she said political and financial risk pose major hurdles to exporting companies.

The Ambassador cited the Icelandic company Reykjavik Geothermal, which is engaged in the development of geothermal power projects in Ethiopia, as a commendable Nordic investment in Ethiopia. However, she stated that many Nordic companies are held back by political and financial uncertainties.

Frehiwot Woldehanna (PhD), state minister at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, recognized the partnership Ethiopia forged with Nordic countries. “We as a country share the view that fundamental transformation is needed for securing more sustainable world.” he said.  

Ethiopians by 2025 from the current access rate of 33 percent from the national grid and 11 percent off-grid. The first independent power producer company in Ethiopia, Reykjavik Geothermal, is developing two large geothermal projects – Corbetti and Tulu Moye – with a total generation capacity of 1,000 MW.

Ethiopia has already began benefiting from Nordic countries experiences on clean energy development. The Danish transmission system operator Energinet is working with the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to share experiences on innovative strategies in the control and operation of power plants with variability.

A Finnish company is designing a new National Load Dispatch Centre, which will help the EEP to manage the power grid and enable higher connection of renewable energy sources. “To unlock the door to expanding the integration of energies, we are looking to the Nordic Solutions,” Frehiwot said.

The Nordic Energy Solutions hopes to assist East African nations in transforming the East African Power Pool into a regional energy trading market system.   Nord-pool through the East African Power Pool is inspiring the sector players in Ethiopia on approaches to creating a regional electricity market.
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