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Energy Sector Status and Hydropower Development in the Eastern Nile Basin

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Water has historically been used by humans for several purposes, such as power generation, domestic use, and irrigation. However, water management in the Nile Basin and, overall, in Africa faces social, technical, economic, political, and environmental challenges. Energy consumption levels are directly proportional to economic growth and development. The Nile Basin nations have an estimated 140,000 megawatts (MW) of hydropower potential, but a small fraction is exploited except for Egypt. Mainly, the Eastern Nile Basin has a vast resource for hydropower development. Nevertheless, currently, there is high political tension between the main riparian’s nations (Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia) on the allocation of Blue Nile water originating from Ethiopia. The purpose of this paper is to assess an overview of energy status and hydropower development potentials for meeting basic energy needs in the Eastern Nile Basin by using different integrative literature review which summarizes past and present research works, drawing overall conclusions, highlighting unresolved issues, and then provide directions for future research. The finding shows that the Eastern Nile Basin energy sector is characterized by heavy dependency on hydro-electricity in Ethiopia, fuel fossils in Egypt, and minimal overall energy supplies in Sudan. Currently, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have produced 2800 MW, 1591 MW, and 894 MW hydro- power from the Nile River and its tributaries respectively. In Sudan and Ethiopia, electrical connectivity remains very limited, resulting in a high overall dependent on biomass to meet basic energy needs. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) designed to produce 6000 MW of hydropower, however, would raise the existing supply of Ethiopian electricity by triple when completed. Besides, the energy power will be distributed to other East African nations to expand energy coverage. This review paper can be used as basic information for the Eastern Nile Basin government bodies, researchers, and different stakeholders.

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