Waste-to-energy plant reflects Ethiopia’s green ambitions

Ethiopia is currently building a brand new €109 million waste-to-energy plant. The plant, constructed on the edge of capitol Addis Ababa, is part of the country’s green economy strategy, also known as CRGE. The strategy aims to develop Ethiopia into a middle-income nation in a more or less sustainable way.

The new power plant that is being built to EU emissions standards (project REPPIE), will burn Addis Ababa’s garbage to generate 50 MW of electricity. In a year from now, the plant will end the current practice of toxic effluent from the landfill seeping into nearby rivers when it rains.

The CRGE strategy is based on four pillars: renewable energy, modernising agriculture, reforestation and adopting energy-efficient technology. One angle that the government is hopeful about are the country’s hydropower possibilities. Ethiopia’s mountainous terrain and nine river basins give it the potential for 45,000MW from hydropower. Developing dams, while also investing in wind, solar and geothermal energy, should create the ability to power a manufacturing boom without burning fossil fuels.

The government started an ambitious hydropower programme in 2011 by beginning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. The 6,000MW capacity of clean energy will make it Africa’s largest power plant. One obvious barrier to achieving all the CRGE goals is finding the required $150bn investment, The Guardian analyses in a recent news report.

Further reading on theguardian.com

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