Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited.
A country with close to 90 million people, a country which can, and will, take the next big steps towards a better economic future for its many citizens.
And one step is to harness its geothermal energy, to give power to the people.
Last week, Reykjavik Geothermal agreed to develop a power plant in Ethiopia capable of producing up to 1,000 megawatts over the next year at a total cost of USD 4 billion.
The state owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. has agreed to buy all the energy under a 25-year contract.
The plant, located at Corbetti Caldera in the Great Rift Valley, south-central Ethiopia, will be the continent’s largest geothermal plant.
As Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said at the project signing in Addis Ababa: “Aid to Africa is not a solution. Trade and investment is a solution. Trade and investment have a lasting impact.”
Projects like this are not new for Reykjavik Geothermal; the company has helped build geothermal power plants in about 30 countries globally.
Four years ago, passing by the Corbetti Caldera, on my way heading north to the Great Rift Valley towards the Ethiopian capital, I saw endless flower fields, people fishing in small boats, harvesting the fields with two old ox. I had no clue that here Icelandic knowledge could a few years later be the best way to lift the standard of living in this poor but great country.
The 1,000 megawatt power plant will produce enough energy to power up to one million Ethiopian homes.
Páll Stefánsson - email@example.com