Status of Ethiopian Geothermal Sector Regulatory Body and Current Development
Tesfaye KASSA MEKONNEN
[Ethiopia Energy Authority, Ethiopia]
Status of Ethiopian Geothermal Sector Regulatory Body and Current Development Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA), a government regulatory body under the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE), was given full jurisdictions in regulating the geothermal resource licensing and administration activities in accordance to the Geothermal Resource Development Proclamation No. 981/2016. EEA’s responsibilities also include reviewing and recommending grid-connected tariffs to the government for approval and approval of off-grid tariffs, auditing energy efficiency programs, labeling energy efficient products and reviewing and approval of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and Implementation Agreements (IA). Geothermal energy in Ethiopia is now a top priority, which the government has given a significant emphasis and committed resources to the sector. As geothermal energy development and use become more prominently recognized in today’s renewable energy landscape, the government of Ethiopia has clearly identified as main source of energy next to the hydropower. Although Ethiopia is well engaged with geothermal resources development, currently conducted exploration work is believed to have studied only a fraction of the ultimate potential. While activities in geothermal exploration started earlier than 1998 with small geothermal power plant, the focus on geothermal activity is relatively new, and as such, the legal and institutional structures, as well as technical capacity building are under development. The geothermal resource licensing previously was handled by the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoMPNG) and considered as a mineral before the issuance of the Geothermal Resource Development Proclamation is issued on September 16th, 2016. Consequently, the EEA has established the Geothermal Resource Development License Administration Directorate (GRDLAD) for the issuance and administration of geothermal licenses with the capacity to develop the directives and to manage the licensing process for geothermal resources (indirect and direct use) and administer the existing and new licenses which will be granted in accordance to the Proclamation and regulation and directives issued hereunder. Following the change of government in 1991, a stable political and economic condition has been introduced and issued energy law and this created conducive investment environment. As a result a significant number of local and foreign investors have shown interests to invest in Ethiopia. To this effect, the formulation of the energy legal framework including geothermal further amplified the involvement of the IPP’s in the geothermal sector. In this regard, the current development of the regulatory body is fascinating.
|        Topic: Policy, Legal and Regulatory Aspects||Paper Number: 03017|