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Djibouti (2012)

Extent of network:

The national electrification rate in 2003 was 49.5%, and the electrification rate in urban areas was estimated to be 57% in 2006. The government expects 60% of the entire population to have access to electricity in 2015. No major developments to the indigenous transmission network have occurred since the colonial era, and its extent still limited, although power interconnections with neighbouring countries, particularly Ethiopia, have been developed in recent years.

Energy framework:

The government’s goals are to:(i) improve efficiency and financial performance of the electricity utility through loss reduction measures;(ii) address key service delivery constraints through rehabilitation and extension of networks, and administrative improvements;(iii) explore new resources for power generation (for example, renewable energy and interconnection with Ethiopia).The government is also in the process of engaging in a comprehensive solar energy development plan, with various targets for dissemination of the technology, including:(i) equipping 70 rural boreholes and 100 other wells with solar pumps,(ii) equipping all rural health centres and 100 rural schools with solar arrays,(iii) the electrification of 5,000 households with solar PV by 2017, increasing rural electrification to 30%.

Renewable energy potential:

Solar energyDjibouti's location on the Horn of Africa is ideal for solar energy. Average daily insolation is 5.5-6.5 kWh/m2 over the whole country. The Japanese government has recently extended a grant for the installation of solar panels at the Djibouti Centre for Research and Studies, the state scientific institution. Djibouti has set a target of achieving electrification of 30% of the rural population by solar photovoltaics, by 2017. In addition, the government sees solar power as a key tool in electrification and development, and has set several technical and economic targets for the technology by 2017.Wind energyStudies conducted in the 1980s indicated that average wind speeds across Djibouti peak at 4 m/s, indicating a moderate potential for wind energy. Government studies in 2002 concluded that Goubet, at the entrance to the Gulf of Tadjourah, has the potential for a 50 MW wind farm, and that Gali Maab Wein and Bada also have significant wind potential.  Biomass energyWith the majority of the country being semidesert, the potential for large-scale power production from biomass is expected to be of limited feasibility. However, no formal assessment has yet been made into the country's biomass potential.  Geothermal energyIn 2001, an American firm, Geothermal Development Associates (GDA), completed a feasibility study for a 30 MW geothermal power plant in the Lake Assal region, west of the capital. EDD aimed to execute the $115 million plant using a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model. With financing for the project finally put in place in 2008, Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI), an Icelandic company, is now poised to implement it, and the plant is expected to begin production in 2012, replacing some of the electricity currently generated using diesel. Drilling identification of other potential resources is also underway, with a great deal of interest from potential Indian and Chinese investors.  HydropowerDjibouti has no hydroelectric potential.

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