Thorndon Cook Power
Thorndon Cook Power
Thorndon Cook Power
Wayang Windu Geothermal Power Station

Ethiopian Least-Cost Power System Expansion Program

Ethiopian Least-Cost Power System Expansion Program

The Project

The total installed capacity of the Ethiopian electrical system is currently 2 GW, around 8% of which is supplied by diesel-fired power plants. The remaining installed capacity comes from hydroelectric power plants. The objectives of the study were:

  • to update the least-cost power system expansion program for the development of Ethiopia’s generation and transmission systems for the next 25 years, covering demand forecasts, load forecasts, generation planning and transmission/distribution modelling
  • to review the potential for hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar power in Ethiopia, and identify ‘candidate’ plants that could contribute to the least-cost development
  • to provide a comprehensive and updated report and database for the development of the power systems

Our Role

Thorndon Cook Power Staff’s role included:

  • Evaluation of the possible contributions of geothermal, hydro and wind energies in the least-cost investment program for development of the Ethiopian electric generation, transmission and distribution system for next 25 years
  • Review of the existing geothermal fields and their development status, and appraisal of future development potential and related economics.
  • Development of scenarios for the various candidate generating plants for modelling purposes.
  • Capex, Opex and Economic analyses with tariff and IRR appraisal.


Thorndon Cook Staff provided input to the econometric-based demand forecasting model RALF (Regression Analysis Load Forecast), used to simulate the load forecasts and determine the system maximum (peak) demand and annual system requirements.

The least-cost development plan was determined using sophisticated generation planning programs, such as WASP and AS/Plan. These planning programs use a dynamic programming optimisation technique that considers all possible options, including renewable sources, and then determines the combination that offers the least cost. Hydro and geothermal plants have been widely considered as candidates for future generation.


project/program management

feasibility studies, including economic analysis, project planning and project management

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