Water shortages for power plants cause energy deficits in Ethiopia

Water shortages for power plants cause energy deficits in Ethiopia
Row of hydro electric towers Quebec Canada
Published: 19 May 2019 - 8:47 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The Ethiopian government on Friday disclosed a major energy deficit as major electric power plants encountered water shortages.

The ongoing energy shortage has also forced the Ethiopian government to implement electric power ration throughout the country, which will run for a two-month period starting from May, state-run news agency quoted Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy officials as saying on Friday.

According to the ministry, water-level decline in major electric power-plants, mainly the Melka Wakena, Gibe-III and Koka hydro-electric dams, has created about 426 MW electric power deficit.

The ministry, however, indicated that the ongoing short term electric-power ration system will not affect universities, export-oriented entities, healthcare institutions, as well as various public service organizations.

The East African country is currently working to increase the electricity generation capacity of the country from the current 4,300 MW to 17,300 MW by 2020, through ongoing and planned hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass energy projects.

Figures from the Ethiopian Electric Power show that the country has increased its electricity generation capacity about 11-fold during the last 27 years, from 380 Mega Watts (MW) in 1991 to around 4,300 MW currently.

Ethiopia is currently constructing several energy projects, including the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will be regarded as Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters.

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