(BHENOK TIBEBU/The Ethiopian Herald, 24 March 2018)
After 18 months of researches and exploration with partners, Ethiopian Geological Survey has identified 23 geothermal energy potential areas in the Ethiopian Rift Valley Zone, it dislosed. Tamiru Mersha, Communication Affairs Director at the Ethiopian Geological Survey, told The Ethiopian Herald that a potential of over 10,000 Mega Wats (MW) geothermal energy was discovered in that area.
According to him, the development of the energy has been started. In collaboration with the Ministry of Water Irrigation and Energy, the development is already being undertaken in Aloto Langano site, which is expected to have a capacity of generating eighty MW of geothermal energy. He said two holes have been drilled in 1952 and 1921 meters depth.
On the other hand, preparatory tasks are accomplished to start developing a 100 MW biothermal energy in Lalo Meda Tendaho of Afar state. The drilling task would be undertaken after two months.
Meanwhile, the development progress on this energy resource is not in balance with the available potential. In this case, Tamiru noted that developing geothermal energy has two different faces. The first one is that the sector is more capital intensive than hydro power plantation. The other side, which is advantageous, is that once geothermal energy is developed, it has long lasting and non- inflating or sustainable energy.
Therefore, the government has considered both cases and ratified a proclamation that would allow the private investors to involve in the sector. As a result, a foreign company has received license to invest in generating 1000 MW geothermal energy in Korbete, one of the identified 23 areas, noted Tamiru.
Meanwhile, priorities are also given in the development of these energy potentials. Areas close to multi-infrastructural access and with high energy potential would have the main focus.
Tamiru also told Herald that the rift valley still has more geothermal energy potential that researches and explorations are continued on 150,000 SK of area land in the region.