Mr. Dawit Teshome, Chief Technology Officer of Green Technology Africa Inc. recently published a post on Ethiopian Reporter, one of the largest English Newspaper in Ethiopia.  Below is the post in its entirety.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The land of thirteen months of sunshine, referencing to its sunny climate and its unique calendar. Ethiopia has always been a major place for solar power.  Solar Energy is an environmental friendly renewable energy source that does not emit carbon to the atmosphere that effects global warming.

Many analysts agree that Ethiopia has a huge solar power potential, especially in the Northwestern and Eastern low lands, which receive high density of radiation. With all its potential, the Ethiopian solar market is still at an early development stage. Demand for solar power comes mostly from off‐grid areas. Utility scale solar has yet to come to Ethiopia as it shows huge potential for the country energy sector to add solar power to its generation mix. Over the last decade, lots of   progresses have been made in solar technology – making it cheaper, reliable and more efficient. As a result, solar power equipment prices have been falling. In the past few years, utility‐scale solar   projects showed the biggest growth in the solar industry due to the fact of the lower per watt cost:  $1.40 to $1.70  per watt.  Solar panels, for example, are twice as cheap as they were four years  ago.

US Energy firm Green Technology Africa Inc., and its partner, a  Germany based Solar Company, currently have been working jointly on developing a total of 300MW grid connected solar generating plants in Ethiopia, have    conducted a detailed feasibility study and were able to show that solar is a viable renewable energy resource for  Ethiopia.  The study shows that it is possible to achieve a much lower cost per kWh for grid connected solar in  Ethiopia when comparing to the cost per kWh on current existing grid connected wind projects.  The study also    concluded that it would take 18 to 24 months to build and commission a utility-scale solar power plant at this size  while a hydro power plant of a same size can take up to 4 to 6 years for completion.

As the price for solar panels keep falling, utility-scale solar projects have and will become more and
more affordable. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and currently aiming to achieve middle‐income status by 2025 while developing a green economy. The country must start taking advantage of utility scale solar system and make it become the country’s next most promising renewable energy source.

This post was published on Ethiopian Reporter