New study estimates 10,000 MW geothermal potential in Ethiopia

New study estimates 10,000 MW geothermal potential in Ethiopia Work on project site in Fantale, Ethiopia (source: Cluff Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 26 Mar 2018

A new study by the Ethiopian Geological Survey conducted in cooperation with partners, has evaluated the geothermal resources on 23 sites in the country, estimating the overall geothermal potential at 10,000 MW.

In a release today, the Ethiopian Government has announced results of 18 months of research and exploration by the Ethiopian Geological Survey with partners.

According to the release, the Ethiopian Geological Survey and its partners have identified 23 areas with geothermal energy development potential in the Ethiopian Rift Valley Zone.

According to Tamiru Mersha, Communication Affairs Director at the Ethiopian Geological Survey, the potential of these sites correspond to a combined geothermal power generation capacity potential potential of over 10,000 MW.

Development of geothermal projects is already under way, e.g. in Aluto Langano, which is described to have a capacity potential of 80 MW. Two new wells have been drilled to a depth of 1,952 and 1,921 meters.

There are also preparations under way for a a 100 MW project in  Lalo Meda Tendaho of Afar state. Drilling could start in the next two months.

Due to the challenge of geothermal development, namely the high up-front cost and exploration risk, the government would allow private investors to invest into geothermal development in Ethiopia.

The result can be seen in the licenses given to geothermal development in Corbetti and Tule Moya, two of the 23 areas identified in the study.

Priorities and main focus are given to development in areas with multi-infrastructure access with high energy potential.

The Rift Valley has still more geothermal energy potential and research continues on other areas in the Rift area.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald