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Clean Power Africa Poised for Rapid Renewable Energy Growth

Published on November 12th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


300 MW Of Ethiopian Solar Farms To Be Built By US Companies

November 12th, 2013 by  

Two US companies — Global Trade & Development Consulting and Energy Ventures — have been awarded a contract to construct and operate a project consisting of three 100 MW photovoltaic power stations in Ethiopia.

The contract was awarded by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation. It is expected to result in the creation of 2,000 jobs, several hundred of which would be for ongoing operations. Additionally, it should result in the injection of several million dollars into the Ethiopian economy.

According to PV-Tech, Ethiopian water and energy minister Alemayehu Tegenu said: “This project represents a significant advance in our Ethiopian energy initiative and is now part of our comprehensive Energy Plan. Given Ethiopia’s large hydro-electric generation capacity and now wind and geothermal power generation coming on-line, large-scale solar fits nicely into our energy portfolio and will provide significant power generation capacity much faster than the other renewable technologies. We welcome this project with open arms.”

Africa Poised for Rapid Renewable Energy Growth

Setting up Solar in Africa
Image Credit: Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

This project is part of President Obama’s “Power Africa” initiative. Naturally, it makes great sense to power Africa with renewable energy, as economic hardship tends to be worsened by reliance on imported fuels.

People have been longing for ways to make donations to Africa that will cause sustained economic advancement, and renewable energy is one of the best candidates for such donations.

Once they receive solar panels, they can keep using them for 30 years or more without importing any fuels! Now that is sustainable.

Ethiopia is an East-African country, and in January of this year, it celebrated the manufacture of solar panels in Ethiopia for the first time. Hopefully this is all a sign of much more to come.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography.

His website is: Kompulsa.com.

  • JamesWimberley

    The idea of giving money to Africa is to help *poor people* in Africa, or the environment, or both. What’s the evidence that these utility investments won’t pay for themselves? There are charities that provide solar lamps or water pumps to poor villagers, and reforestation: that’s all well worth supporting. Far too much official “foreign aid” is basically a subsidy to the exporters of rich countries.

    • Bob_Wallace

      As far as the micro-solar systems go, no one is giving these systems to anyone as far as I know. They are giving people the opportunity to purchase systems on a time payment basis.

      These folks don’t have the surplus incomes to purchase systems up front but can use the money they would have spent on kerosene and candles to pay off their system.

      Donated money goes for seed money to establish the dealer/service network. Most of the programs are designed to be self-maintaining and to grow over time. And I think some of the new businesses will have to repay their startup loans. Not sure how prevalent that last part is.

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