Ethiopia Launches Geothermal Power Project  

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CleanTechnica has a post on Ethiopia's plans to harness large scale wind and geothermal power - Africa at the Energy Crossroads: Ethiopia Launches 6 Wind, 1 Geothermal Power Project.

Ethiopia isn’t a country that comes up often when discussing renewable energy, but the Ethiopian Electric Power Coroporation (EEPCO) this past week announced it’s starting construction of six wind power projects and one geothermal power plant. In total, electricity generation capacity for the renewable energy projects totals more than one gigawatt (1 GW), Ethtiopian news service NewsDire reported.

The renewable energy projects are part of EEPCO’s plans to increase national electricity generation capacity five times by 2015, from a current 2000 megawatts (MW) to about 10,000 MW. Increasing electricity generation, in turn, is key to the government’s broader economic development plans.

Ethiopia’s considers itself a “powerhouse of Africa.” Comprising three climate zones, it ranks second in Africa in terms of hydropower potential, after the Democratic Republic of Congo, and exports significant amounts of electricity to its East African neighbors. Ethiopia’s Water and Energy Minister in March announced a plan to add 5,250 MW of electricity generating capacity by building the Grand Millennium Dam of Ethiopia, which would dam the Nile River near the border with Sudan.

EEPCO views wind power as a clean energy complement to its hydropower generating capacity. Ethiopia has substantial wind power resources. Wind power potential in the East African country totals some 10,000 MW, EEPCO has estimated, which has noted that wind energy is higher in the dry season, when hydropower resources are at their lowest.

The six wind power projects announced this past week include the 300 MW Aysha Wind Farm near the Djibouti border, the 100 MW Debre Birhan Wind Farm north of Addis Ababa, the 100 MW Assela Wind Power Project southeast of the capital, and the 153 MW Adama II Wind Power Project. Also slated to start construction are the 250 MW Galema I Wind Power project 42 MW Mesebo Harena Wind Farm and the 42 MW Mesebo Harena Wind Farm.

Ethiopia’s electric utility also intends to start construction of the 70 MW Aluto Langano Geo Thermal project. Rich in geothermal resources, the East African Rift Zone runs through eastern Ethiopia, though the country has thus far been much less active in exploiting it than has neighboring Kenya, which in September announced its intention to generate 30% of its electricity needs from geothermal resources by 2030.

Adelaide Now has an update on Petratherm's geothermal project at Paralana - Hot rocks leader plans third well.
PETRATHERM wants to differentiate itself from other geothermal explorers as it moves toward becoming a working electricity supplier.

Announcing an upgraded resource statement for the flagship Paralana project, Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis said yesterday the company had the right projects, partners and people to deliver results soonest.

After tests, Paralana's potential has been independently assessed, recording an inaugural "measured" resource and with almost half of the total 38,000 petajoules resource moving into the higher confidence "indicated" bracket from the "inferred" category.

The upgrade was a major step forward for Petratherm and partners Beach Energy and TRUenergy, Mr Kallis said.

"It is estimated we have enough geothermal resource potential for about 1300 megawatts of power generation for 30 years, which equates to more than one-third of South Australia's power use," he said.

The SMH has a report on geothermal power project planned for Victoria - Geothermal plant wins state backing.
A GEOTHERMAL energy project near Geelong has landed a $25 million state government grant to help develop a 12-megawatt pilot power plant. Greenearth Energy, which secured the money yesterday, says its plans for the demonstration plant could power up to 8000 homes.

The grant follows two years of negotiations with both Labor and Coalition governments to secure the funds under the state's Energy Technology Innovation Strategy, first promised in 2009. The first $5 million will go towards drilling a four-kilometre deep well to test the geothermal resource at one of the company's exploration sites. Greenearth holds exploration licences for Gherang, Wensleydale and Anglesea, and a preferred site will be announced in three months.


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