Winds of Change: Sino-African renewable energy cooperation vital for development



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Chinafrica

There’s a revolution blowing along the highlands about 95 km southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Standing high up on the Great Rift Valley, row upon row of giant white wind turbines spin freely, churning out valuable green energy to supplement the nation’s grid.

They belong to the Adama Wind Farm, installed by Chinese company HydroChina International Engineering Co. Ltd. Adama Wind Farm boasted an installed capacity of 50 MW in the first phase. The second phase of the project completed this May, and with an installed capacity of 153 MW, it has become the largest wind farm in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Abebayehu Assefa, the project’s consultant engineer, is proud to have witnessed Adama’s progress from blueprint to reality. The professor at the Institute of Technology of Addis Ababa University says the Ethiopian side developed an in-depth understanding of China’s wind power technology and equipment development, as well as management experience, by working with Chinese engineers.

“We are happy that Ethiopians had, for the first time, participated in an international consultancy at the Adama wind power project,” Assefa said. “We would like to enjoy long-term cooperation with Chinese wind turbine companies in the future, which would mean a lot to our domestic clean energy development.”

Upon completion, the project will meet 20 percent of the power demand in the Ethiopian capital and ease the prevailing power shortage considerably