Ethiopia: An Eco-Friendly Industrial Powerhouse in the Works
By admin July 24, 2015


The Reppie Project, a power plan that seeks to transform Ethiopia`s waste into 50 MW of electricity, may well just be the new buzzword in Addis Ababa.

The Reppie Project comes at a time where the energy needs of Ethiopians are rapidly growing; and it is only by diversifying the energy sources that the country can wean itself off over-reliance on sources of energy that are contingent on the unpredictable weather, for instance. The central tenet of the energy brainchild is essentially to provide sustainable electricity for all Ethiopians, while at the same time, meeting its waste management needs.

The project is the brainchild of a wider plan entitled the Climate Resilient Energy Strategy (CRES), which endeavours to see Ethiopia become a carbon-neutral middle income country by 2025 while dramatically reducing its carbon footprints by 2030. Moreover, further key tenets of the CRES are to transform to a new economic development model, using domestic resources and global climate change finance; and to build resource–‐competitive advantages, while responding to the adverse effects of climate change. Suffice it to say that the plan exists as the fourth pillar of CRES, with the pillars being: renewable energy, modernising agriculture, reforestation and adopting energy-efficient technology. Ethiopia’s hydropower possibilities, in the government’s eyes, resolve the inherent tension in industrialising while trying to curb carbon emissions.


By way of curbing carbon emissions while simultaneously industrialising, Ethiopian Minister of the Environment and Forest, Balete Tafere added that “In doing this we ensure our development is sustainable, and another thing is we ensure we contribute positively to the global interest.”


It should be noted that although Ethiopia produces only 2300 MW of power for 96 million people, far less than the UK`s ability for 64 million people – Ethiopia still benefits from a mountainous terrain and nine river basins give it the potential for 45,000 MW from hydropower. Worrisome, however, is how the CRGE will be actualized without sufficient funds. An estimated USD $150 billion investment is needed to allow for this project to be sustainable. An assessment on climate financing by the UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI), estimated that $7.5bn a year of annual resources is needed as opposed to the government’s annual resources of $440m.

Notwithstanding, The Horn of Africa may have much to learn from Ethiopia`s endeavour. Investing in wind, solar and thermal energy while sustainably increasing ones manufacturing ability is an enterprise that the rest of Africa can have much to gain from. As Balete stated “We are absolutely going to depend on the renewable resources for our energy development. Industries are going to use only energy from the grid that is renewable.”


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