Israeli Energy Expert Says Dam Benefits Downstream Countries, Stabilize Flow

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will stabilize the flow of water into the Nile River, hugely benefitting the downstream countries, Israeli energy expert told ENA.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the solar energy developer Mikael Alemu said that the claim that the dam would affect the flow of the water is “scientifically irrational.”

Egypt has repeatedly been claiming that the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have a major impact on water flow into the Nile River.

Ethiopia's hydropower dam will, however, provide benefits to countries in the region as a source of affordable electric power and it is vital to manage drought and water stability.

According to the energy expert, Egypt’s fear that the renaissance dam will stop the Nile water has nothing to do with technology and the reality.

The “Egyptian complaint on the GERD has nothing to do with technology and reality. Everything they are saying about this project is not scientific and hydropower engineering at least.”

As the project is set to generate electricity, the expert pointed out that the intention of the project can never be to stop water, Mikael added.

The expert believes that the dam is beneficial for the downstream countries especially for their agriculture development since the dam stabilizes the flow of the water.

“The idea of the dam is always to be the battery to stabilize the water when the flow of the Nile water is not enough. And you can get water from the dam. If there is too much water, you just regulate this. So for them it is very predictable and advantageous.”

Mikael stressed that the downstream nations should realize the dam will also have tremendous benefits.

Most importantly, the dam will hugely contribute to managing drought and stabilizing the water flow and as well as to avoiding floods, he noted.

The Israeli expert urged Egypt to abandon emotional thinking, adding that “it is not rational what people think about this project.”

For him, the non-scientific approach by Egypt has prevented substantive progress in the negotiation of the Renaissance dam.

Moreover, Ethiopia has the right on the Nile River to develop its own territory and other countries downstream have to be convinced in this regard.

Acknowledging Ethiopia’s untapped potential for energy development, Mikael said that the country has remained far behind to supply enough electric power in the country.

An economically developed country has at least one gigawatt of electricity generation per a million people, the expert noted, adding that Ethiopia has installed capacity for electricity generation at just five gigawatt, which is unbelievably little for a country of 120 million people.

The household electrification rate in the country has remained stubbornly low, at only 20 percent with more than 60 million people without access to electricity.

As everything needs electricity in this day and age, Mikael noted that is why it is the most important for the development of Ethiopia.

The expert urged Ethiopia to diversify its energy supply and invest more to accelerate the country’s modern economy in all spheres.

He particularly stressed the need for generating electric power from wind, geothermal, solar panels from different resources without investing extra resources.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency