Hydroelectric energy is a fundamental asset for the process of economic growth in Ethiopia and Salini Impregilo is a strategic partner in the development of its full potential.
Currently, approximately 85% of the energy generated in the Country comes from hydroelectric systems, a result achieved thanks to the considerable investments made and the works completed.
Indeed, approximately 30% of the GDP is invested in energy projects linked to the smart exploitation of the enormous water resources present nationally. The objective is to succeed in generating 40 MW of energy by 2035 using this kind of technology.
The commitment to the development of hydro power is not only strategic in economic and industrial terms, but also in terms of environmental protection and sustainable development. Becoming a carbon neutral Country by 2025, and so free from the use of energy sources generated using fossil fuels, is a real challenge that the Ethiopian government is pursuing by indeed focusing on hydroelectric projects, obviously together with all the other forms of renewable energy.
Additionally, using water resources to produce hydroelectric energy fails to remove water from other uses (e.g. irrigation systems, drinking water), therefore contributing to the overall sustainability of these investments.
In this framework, not only are the works completed by Salini Impregilo a fundamental asset for the quota of clean energy produced by the Country, but at the same time, they also contribute to the optimisation of the use of water.
The procedure starts from afar, inspired by a long-ranging vision expressed in the accomplishment of complex and integrated projects such as that of the Gibe-Omo waterfall.
Indeed, the first projects designed to exploit the potential hydroelectric power of the two rivers Gilgel Gibe and Omo date back to the early 1980s and have led, over the years, to the construction of three different dams, capable of providing the Country with energy to which it had never had access before. Work began on the first dam of Gilgel Gibe I in 1986 and ended in 2004, after a long interruption during the 1990s. Instead, Gilgel Gibe II was built between 2004 and 2009, and 2006 saw the beginning of the first projects for the construction of the third and biggest of the dams: Gibe III.
All three of the works directly contribute to the wellbeing and quality of life of the people, because, in addition to the commercial aspect, and therefore to the sale of the energy to the bordering countries and its use to attract foreign investments and international companies, all of this has a primary objective: to supply the Ethiopian people with energy.
And the figures confirm that the access to electricity has almost tripled in the period between 1990 and 2012, going from 10% to approximately 27% . Gibe III and the other ongoing projects in the Country will make a further contribution to increasing the population reached by electricity, mostly generated by renewable sources.
In the meantime, the internal demand is increasing at an annual rate of 25% and is expected to reach 32% in the years to come. A demand that is the result of the economic development that this Country is undergoing. A kind of development that must be sustained and strengthened, also with the production of sustainable energy.