Iceland and Ethiopia in geothermal cooperation
The Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) and the Ethiopian Government have signed a Partnership Agreement for geothermal surface exploration and capacity building for geothermal development in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government is currently implementing a strategy to develop its renewable energy resources, including geothermal side by side with hydro, in order to increase energy production. The cooperation between iceland and Ethiopia is the second project initiated under an agreement on geothermal energy between Iceland and the World Bank (the first agreement of this kind is already under way in Rwanda). The immediate objective of the project is to identify potential sites for exploration drilling in the target areas and develop capacity in Ethiopia to advance geothermal energy production in the country.
The overall objective is to assist the Government to increase renewable energy production through low emission geothermal energy development for social and economic benefit. ICEIDA will assist the implementing agencies with finalizing geothermal surface explorations and associated geophysical and geochemical studies to identify locations for drilling of exploration and production wells in target sites.
Ethiopia is considered to have geothermal potential up to 5,000 MW. The Ethiopian Government has now decided to prioritize geothermal development as a key area in energy development. The geothermal surface exploration activities in Ethiopia will focus on the areas of Tendaho Alalobeda and Aluto Langano, both considered to have great potential for energy production. A capacity building project for geothermal exploration will also be initiated in the area of Gedemsa. The implementing agencies in Ethiopia are the Geological Survey of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation.