Abu Dhabi-based leading clean energy company Masdar and the Government of Ethiopia have discussed the development of solar power projects with a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW), along with the related grid infrastructure across the African country.
Furthermore, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a ceremony conducted in the Prime Minister’s office in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.
HE Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and HE Mohamed Salem Al Rashdi, UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia, were present at the signing ceremony.
The deal encompasses the development, financing, design, engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, insurance, ownership, operation, maintenance, and transfer of photovoltaic (PV) plants, and the infrastructure needed to transmit the electricity. Additional plans call for the signing of power purchase agreements and other agreements later this year, and to begin commercial operations in 2022.
“This initiative will mark a significant step forward for Ethiopia’s efforts to diversify its energy mix and drive economic development. Masdar has been a catalyst for renewable energy and clean-tech innovation in more than 30 countries around the world, and we look forward to working with the Government of Ethiopia to help deliver universal access to electricity for all its people.”
Although Ethiopia’s electricity grid is almost entirely powered by renewable energy sources, mostly hydropower, more than half of the country’s population still has no direct access to electricity. Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program intends to achieve universal energy access by 2025 and to be a power hub in Eastern Africa. The government is also working to diversify its energy mix by incorporating wind, solar, and geothermal energy to reduce reliance on hydropower, which is vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall.