ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Experts and policymakers on Wednesday emphasized the need to foster the utilization of renewable energy sources and solutions in Ethiopia.
Attending a two-day conference being held in Ethiopia under the theme of "Fostering the deployment of renewable energy in Ethiopia: A sustainable roadmap," over 350 participants have identified gaps and propose solutions for a smooth deployment of renewable energy in Ethiopia.
Conference participants argued that Ethiopia's increasing electricity demand, which signifies one the fastest growing and most populated economies in Africa and the rest of the world, can be met with renewable energy resources, in particular hydro, geothermal and wind energy.
Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction on the Blue Nile River is one of the prominent renewable energy projects in Ethiopia, with a planned capacity of generating 6,450 megawatt when it is fully operational. The dam will be regarded as Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters.
The Ethiopian government had also recently announced the plan to build a 100 megawatt solar power project at an estimated cost of 100 million U.S. dollars starting early next year. The solar project would be the largest of its kind in Ethiopia.
As part of the conference, Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (RES4Africa) also launched its Ethiopia program with an aim to leverage the east African country's ambition in the deployment of renewable energy powered efficient energy solutions.
According to Gemedo Dalle, Ethiopia's Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the initiative would help Ethiopia as the country presently produces 90 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources, particularly from hydro-electric power projects.
According to conference participants, the initiative would immensely benefit Ethiopia by unlocking the country's vast renewable energy potential, which includes water, wind and other potentials.
Admasu Nebebe, Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, also affirmed his country's firm stance to the development of eco-friendly energy sources, saying that "green energy is not a choice, but a necessary."
The newly launched RES4Africa Ethiopia project, which incorporates a network of key international energy stakeholders, utilities, industries, agencies, technical service providers and academia, engaged in promoting clean technological solutions in the Sub-Saharan African region.
Giuseppe Mistretta, Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia, also expressed EU's interest to help Ethiopia and other African countries to propel the renewable energy sector, saying that "we must encourage renewable energy partnership with African countries."
The two-day conference, organized with the support of Africa-European Union Energy Partnership (AEEP), aspires to identify gaps and propose solutions for a smooth deployment of renewable energy in Ethiopia.