According to the official from the Ethiopia’s Geological Survey department of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Yiheyes Amdeberhan, the rift-valley has 16 sites which can generate geothermal energy and if exploited they can supply 1,000 megawatt (MW) of power. For the past 40 years a series of studies have been conducted about the geo-thermal energy potential. Now at a trial site in Tendaho, 7.3 MW power is being generated and is flowing through the main electric power line for consumption.

Yiheyes said that the Ethiopia 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 generating geothermal energy at the sites depends on the depth at which the hot underground water is found. Yiheyes said that once a geothermal site is dug and completed, it can serve for 30 years.