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Electric power export will be one of the major hard currency earners in the current Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) with over half a billion USD in projected revenue.
The GTP document ratified by the parliament on Friday indicated that the power sector’s revenue will reach USD 128 million in the current budget year, a staggering 300 percent growth compared to the 2014/15 budget year’s performance. In the past budget year, the country earned USD 42.8 million from the sector.
In the first GTP period (2010/11-2014/15), the country embarked on electric export to Djibouti. Sudan and border towns in Kenya and Somaliland are also using Ethiopian power. In the current GTP the power export to Kenya, Djibouti and Sudan is expected to expand.
The country is projected to earn USD 539 million in electric power export in the coming budget year, exceeding other sectors’ expected export revenues by far. In the 2016/17 budget year, leather, textile and sugar exports are expected to reach USD 272 million, USD 270 million, and USD 265 million respectively.
By the end of GTP II, the power sector will generate USD 642 million, 15 fold hike from earnings at the end of GTP I.
Concerted efforts to expand the country’s energy production have been undertaken in GTP I, with plans to increase production from 2,000MW in the beginning of the first GTP to 10,000MW in the end of the period. Despite ambitious targets, actual production for the period is only 4,000MW.
However, with several projects underway, including the iconic Grand Ethiopian Reissuance Dam (GERD) to be completed in GTP II, there are hopes that the new target of producing 17,000MW will be achievable. Of this target the GERD will cover 6,000MW if complete, while projects like Gibe IV and other geothermal and hydro projects are expected to cover the remainder.
Ethiopia has the potential to generate 45,000MW electric power from hydropower and 10,000MW from geothermal power and can also produce further electricity from wind and solar power. Taking this potential as an opportunity, the second GTP outlines a path towards becoming the power hub for the region with future exports aimed towards Europe to north, the Middle East and southern Africa.