Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and their neighbours could deploy large-scale solar and wind farms, connected by a regionally integrated power grid.
It's a confluence of local, regional, national and, possibly, foreign interests.
It won’t be easy to get the 11 countries in the basin to agree to a plan that avoids chronic water shortages in the future. Good information sharing and technical cooperation are critical.
America has historically been a strong Ethiopia ally, but this latest move to withhold foreign direct assistance has thrown its loyalty into question.
Egypt wants a guarantee that the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam will not affect the rights it got in 1959.
The Nile Treaties prevent upstream countries from using the waters of the Nile without the consent of those downstream. This results in an Egyptian bias.
Instead of allocating the Nile waters based on a fixed, perpetual water supply Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt must consider changes in weather patterns, among other factors.
It's important for the Nile nations to make Ethiopia's planned dam work for all.
Many countries in eastern and southern Africa rely on hydropower for electricity generation and there are plans for several more dams.
The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have shown some commitment to sharing the waters of the Nile. But hard negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam are only beginning.