The rift-valley has 16 sites which can generate geo-thermal energy and if exploited they can supply 1,000 MW of electric power, Yiheyes Amdeberhan from the Geological Survey department of the Ministry of Mines and Energy told The Reporter.
For the last 40 years a series of studies have been conducted about the country's geo-thermal energy potential. Now at a trial site in Tendaho, 7.3 MW electric power is being generated and is flowing through the main electric power line for consumption.
Yiheyes said that the country had a potential for uninterrupted supply of geothermal energy and in terms of efficiency he said that 100 MW of geothermal energy was as good as 200 MW of hydro-electric power.
Geothermal energy is preferable to other forms of renewable energy. Unlike the generation of solar energy, it does not cost much money or require expensive technology. The cost of tapping geothermal energy at the sites depends on the depth at which the hot underground water is found. Yiheyes says that once a geothermal site is dug and completed, it can serve for 30 years.