Current energy generation capacity in Ethiopia is 1,937 MW, of which 1,858 MW come from hydropower plants, leaving the power supply vulnerable both to natural changes in water flows as well as the effects of climate change. The Government of Ethiopia has a goal to develop more than 23,000 MW of additional electricity generation capacity by 2030, and that includes substantial diversification into wind and geothermal power. Geothermal in particular can provide significant advantages, including high capacity factors and low variability, and therefore, the development of Ethiopia's geothermal resources is a key priority for the Government. The current GoE’s 5-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) is explicitly focused on increasing energy supply and access, and the 2011 Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE) sets a target of increasing generation five-fold within five years through investments in hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind. The Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) includes explicit geothermal development targets of 75 MW capacity by 2015 and 1,000 MW by 2030. 

The East Africa Rift Valley is a major potential source of geothermal power, and Ethiopia's resource is estimated at 5,000 MW spread across 16 fields. However, so far, this vast and important asset remains untapped. Deep drilling has been undertaken in three areas, Aluto Lungano and Tendaho, sponsored by GoE, and in a third, Corbetti by a private sector concessionaire. The remaining fields are in the first stages of surface exploration. The only existing geothermal generation however comes from a 7.3 MW pilot project at Aluto Lungano, installed in the late 1990s. A recent feasibility study conducted in 2010 concluded for the possibility to expand the Aluto Lungano field to 75 MW, and four production wells with a total capacity of 35 MW were drilled there in 2011. At the Tendaho field, three deep and three shallower exploratory wells were drilled in the 1990s that indicated a total resource of 100 MW that could be developed from the deep geothermal resource. 

This project summary is drawn from draft project proposals [such as the PAD, PID, SAR, and country investment plan] and may not contain the most up-to-date information.

Project Details
Project Document | Proposed Decision
Approved on January 13, 2014 (Approved Decision)
Approved amount(s):
USD 1.5 million (grant funding)

Comments and Responses:
United Kingdom (January 9, 2014) 
Netherlands (January 10, 2014)

MDB Project Implementation Services (MPIS)
Approved on March 9, 2012 (Approved Decision)
Approved amount(s):
USD 100,000 (MPIS First Tranche)