For quite some time now Djibouti has been anticipating the arrival of the natural resource, geothermal energy. Dating back to 4 decades ago, Djibouti has showed significant efforts in trying to connect the country’s geothermal potential and every time results confirmed the existence of this valuable and desired fluid. The barriers preventing the country from extracting the evident energy resource, was the lack of capital investment and obtainable technology. This has finally come to an end and things are starting to effectively change.
Homa-Zahra Fotouhi Geothermal
This green energy resource has amazing traits such as it is considered to be clean, renewable, dependable, inexpensive and above all geothermal is available at any moment. This is not the case for quite a few important resources; only when the sun is out can solar energy be produced, just like wind energy can only be produced when the wind blows. At the moment, electricity is high in price and known to be a severe obstacle inhibiting private sector progress and economic evolution.
Djibouti is heavily reliant on imports for its energy requirements. This region gets its energy / power imported from Ethiopia (hydroelectricity) or by burning imported heavy fuel oil in the local power plant. This is why electricity is so costly and it’s the citizens, who are essentially the consumers which feel the burden.
Djibouti’s geothermal project is currently ready for take-off. In almost 20 years, this is going to be the first exploration funded by the World Bank. The fact that the exploration phase of the project is supported by public funds using donors’ grants and soft loans will reduce the total cost of the project by US$52 million. It will also allow for the production of electricity at 4 cents per KWH cheaper than if the project was financed by the private sector.
Environmental benefits additionally make this an exciting initiative and the project will decrease Djibouti’s carbon impression by helping to counterbalance 8million tons of Carbon Dioxide releases over the time frame of 30 years. Adding to these benefits, the following advantages of the project include:
- Lower electricity bills for the people of Djibouti.
- A supply of electricity that will be cheaper and increased in quantity.
- There will be an increase in capacity for higher purchasing power for households.
- The rise of opportunities for small and starting out companies.
- There will be a better working environment resulting in enhancing the private sector and the creation of employment.
- Foreign investment will also be increased, vital for the country’s economic improvement.
- There will be the strengthening of technical expertise and skills at prime establishments and government agencies.
- Djibouti will develop the needed know-how to conduct its own geothermal explorations at other promising locations in the country.