1.2.5  Use in power generation

The rivers of Ethiopia have enormous potential for generating hydroelectric power (HEP). HEP uses the energy from moving water and converts this to electrical energy. The development of HEP has transformed energy supply in recent years and more schemes are under construction or planned. However, it is important to realise that in HEP the water is not ‘used’ in the sense of being consumed, because after passing through the HEP plant the water continues on its path in a river channel.

Another process under development in the Rift Valley area of Ethiopia is the use of geothermal energy, in which energy is derived from the heat of the Earth. This process involves drilling down into hot layers of underground rock and using this heat to convert water into steam, which is then used to drive generators to produce electricity. Figure 1.6 shows a geothermal electricity generation plant.

Figure 1.6  A geothermal power plant.

1.2.6 Aquacultural use