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Ethiopia: Grand Renaissance Dam Surpasses Power Generation Goals

Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia, September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File.

Addis Ababa — The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) has produced more than 2,700 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity over the past 10 months, according to the Ethiopian government. This achievement surpasses the initial targets set for the dam’s power generation.

The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) reported that the hydroelectric power plant exceeded its planned power generation goals by about 26 percent. Initially, the dam was expected to generate 2,152.8 GWh during the current Ethiopian fiscal year, which began on July 8, 2023, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported on Wednesday.

Gerd’s increased power output is attributed to its enhanced water storage capacity, which has allowed the dam’s two operational turbines to function at full capacity.

The dam’s contribution now accounts for approximately 16 percent of Ethiopia’s total electricity generation, which reached 16,900 GWh from various power plants across the country during the same period.

Looking ahead, the EEP anticipates that the dam’s power generation capacity will significantly boost the country’s electricity output. Once the remaining 11 units are operational, Ethiopia’s overall power generation capacity is expected to increase by 83 percent.

In April, the Office of National Coordination for the Construction of Gerd announced that the project was over 95 percent complete. Upon full completion, the dam is projected to have a generating capacity of 5,150 megawatts, with an annual energy output of 15,760 GWh.

Ethiopia commenced construction of the Gerd on the Nile River in April 2011. The project has been a point of contention among the Nile basin countries, namely Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. Despite the disputes, Ethiopia maintains that the dam is essential for its development goals and its aim to achieve lower-middle-income status in the near future.

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