Ethiopia keen to further enhance cooperation with China in renewable energy
Addis Ababa, August 2 (WIC) - Ethiopia is very keen to further enhance cooperation with partners like China in the development of renewable energy to tap its potential in the sector, said Wondimu Tekle, State Minister of Water and Energy.
The state minister has told reporters on Wednesday that Ethiopia is with an estimated potential of generating 60,000 MW electric power of which 45,000 MW from hydropower and 15,000 MW from other renewable energy mixes including solar, wind, and geothermal. `
Currently, Ethiopia generates about 2000 MW of hydroelectric power, and in its five-year plan (GTP 2010/11-2014/15), the country has set to increase the power generation by four times.
Its strategies are to promote a mix of energy sources by developing renewable resources, to prevent power loss and promote proper utilization of energy, reduce unit cost of power generation investments and operations, and provide electricity at affordable prices.
To develop these various renewable energy mixes we have to have cooperation with partners like the Chinese government, said the state minister.
He also recalled that Chinese companies have been participating in the development of renewable energy resources here in Ethiopia. “We have different Chinese companies who are working in our country, especially in hydropower development and also wind farm development,” said Wondimu.
He said his country would further collaborate with China through its companies operating in Ethiopia in renewable energy development including the geothermal energy.
The state minister noted that in the GTP it has been set to register a minimum of 11 percent growth with which the energy sector set to grow by nearly 24-25 percent.
“For the minimum for the 11 percent GDP growth, we have to have at least nearly 24-25 percent of energy growth and also if we take the maximum 15 percent GDP growth, we have to have at least 32 percent energy development,” said the state minister.
He also stated that by collaboration with the Chinese companies in renewable energy development, technology transfer would be there from the Chinese to Ethiopians.
“We do have the potential in renewable energy and our cooperation will also increase in the future. Not only constructing the projects but also technology transfer from Chinese side and our technology will also be developed in the future,” said Wondimu.
He also recalled the workshop organized by the Chinese government on renewable energy mechanism to Ethiopians and other nationals, which the minister said very important for the development of the sector and technology transfer from China to Ethiopia.
Wondimu said during visits to China, he was very much impressed by the projects of wind farms and other renewable energy development which are carried out by the Chinese companies.
The state minister said he has found the infrastructure development in China beyond his imagination. He also appreciated the very friendly citizens of China and their hospitality for guests.
To support Ethiopia's renewable energy development, China has also been offering trainings and organizing workshops for Ethiopians working at the relevant offices.
Sahele Tesfaye is a bio-gas program coordinator with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, and he has been to China for training on bio-gas technology development.
Sahele has told reporters that he has attended the training along with Ethiopians and other colleagues from different countries, and has found it very important and relevant to bio-gas technology.
“The training was very successful. It was very nice and successful in getting much knowledge especially the details in the bio-gas construction. I have learnt about bio-gas technology in detail, especially the medium and large scale bio-gas digester and I am very much impressed for that,” said Sahele.
Sahele also stated that Ethiopia has designed and been implementing a bio-gas program since 2008.
He said there are constructions of bio-gas in four regions including Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Southern Ethiopia regions to which he expressed expectation of much support from China as China has the experience in constructing tens of millions of bio-gas digesters and as an agreement has already been reached to cooperate in the area.
And we have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU); I am sure we will get much support from China in constructing these medium and large scale bio-gas digesters.
“We have got the knowledge how agricultural residues used to produce bio-gas and distribute to the community,” he said. Sahele revealed that the shortage of appliance for bio-gas technology development has been solved as the Chinese government has donated quality appliances to support bio-gas projects in Ethiopia.
“The problem was shortage of bio-gas appliances. Of course, this problem is now solved by the Chinese government. The Chinese government has helped, supported us even can be used the next three years. So, the bio-gas constructions will be successful as there is no shortage of appliances,” he noted.
The appliances have been distributed to the four regions and trainings have been offered and they are very much satisfied even by the quality of the appliances, he said.
Kidane Workinesh is a senior bio-energy technology designer with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, and he had also the opportunity to attend the workshop offered by the Chinese government on bio-energy technology. Kidane said he has found the training very relevant and important for his career at the ministry.
“We have been given a lot of short-term trainings including the history of China and about the economic development and transformation and additionally we did have courses on renewable energy, wind turbines, hydropower, and bio-gas and solar energy,” he said. (globaltimes.cn)
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