Africa has a total installed geothermal generating capacity of over 644 MW. The geothermal capacity for the East Africa region is estimated to exceed 15,000 MW, representing a $40 billion investment opportunity. Geothermal is an appropriate technology to meet base load energy demand but the high initial financing costs and exploration risks have made it a challenge for countries to increase capacity.
Ethiopia has abundant renewable energy resources and the potential to generate over 60,000 megawatts (MW) of electric power from hydro, wind, solar and geothermal sources. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is currently under construction, is expected to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa and to generate 6,450 MW of electricity at full capacity. In 2018, the Federal Government of Ethiopia launched the National Electrification Program (NEP), a comprehensive plan to reach universal access to electricity by 2025. Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa and with a population spread out throughout the country, therefore ideal electrification solutions must be both on-grid and off-grid.