EGP in Ethiopia: A Wave of Green in Africa

Published on Friday, 3 November 2017

“With this initial investment of 120 million dollars, Ethiopia becomes the 30th country where EGP is present.”

A Roadmap for the Continent

Ethiopia has the potential to play a key role in Enel’s strategy in Africa. The company is already present in South Africa, Zambia, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, and our sustainable roadmap shows that in the near future we will be able to bring renewable energy to other places as well, like Senegal and Kenya.

The electrification of the African continent is one of the greatest challenges to ensure the continent’s development. To date, there are 600 million people without electricity and that number could increase, given the trends of demographic growth, if measures are not taken. In a continent that is rich in natural resources, regulation in individual nations is key to opening up the market to international investors.

The Addis Ababa government has issued a challenge to nearby countries with their Growth and Transformation Plan 2, which aims to reach approximately 13 MW of new hydroelectric, wind, geothermal and solar capacity between 2018 and 2025, with the goal of responding to the energy demand.

The Technology Factor

Energy is an essential requirement to improving economic activity and quality of life in Africa, like anywhere else on the planet. In an interview with MF International Focus, Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, emphasized: “Our current historical time is comparable to when, many years ago, Europe started to use electricity mainly as a resource for industry”.

“An Africa without electricity is inconceivable: it would mean depriving an entire continent and a generation of the possibility of a better future. ”

– Antonio Cammisecra

Paradoxically, opportunities for the African continent are greater than the ones in Europe at that time. Africa can now benefit from the sector’s technological and innovative evolution in recent years in and rely on advanced technology with excellent performance and reduced costs, especially in the renewables sector.

The Advantage in Renewables

Renewables, whether solar, wind, geothermal or hydropower, are increasingly affordable because of their constant technological development. The modularity of plants and of investments also plays a fundamental role, as does time to market, which is very short for renewable projects.

A renewable energy plant, even small- or medium-sized, has much lower costs compared to a gas or coal plant and generates value immediately at the local level, for those who use and those who produce the energy. 

“We must get out of the mind-set of multi-year projects on mega-infrastructure and start thinking about medium- and small-sized projects that are more numerous and spread out, and about distributed plants.”

– Antonio Cammisecra

History has taught us that, where stable regulatory conditions are created, like in Ethiopia and South Africa, national and international industry operators have found an economically sustainable market for their initiatives.