Tanzania has been recently considered by Frost & Sullivan, a US based consulting firm involved with market research for growth strategies in different industries, within a list of seven countries in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) with a big potential to scale up power demand in the country by the usage of renewable energy (RE) projects.
The list is the outcome of a research named Large-Scale RE Power Development Opportunities in SSA, which points out that Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Ethiopia are countries that have established the most ambitious RE targets for their power sectors, after the successful implementation of the RE Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in South Africa.
However, despite the large availability of mainly solar and wind power potential in SSA, many of the RE power projects remain in early stages of development due to constraints as access to credit, grid capacity and reliable electricity supply.
This is why only 647 MW out of 14,700 MW of large-scale RE power projects installed in SSA since 2013 are in the construction phase, with Tanzania accounting for most of the wind power projects which represent 22% of the total installed and are the second main group after photovoltaic projects (PV), representing 63% of them.
Tanzania has areas of high wind potential that cover more than 10% of its land or an area equivalent to Malawi’s size with a potential greater than that from the US State of California, reason why the World Bank undertook the Energy Sector management Assistance Program (ESMAP) to construct an energy map by using satellite images and that so far has invested USD 2.8 million in the country.
The maps obtained under the ESMAP initiative, will be a good guide for potential investors who are interested in RE projects in Tanzania and a good support of the expansion of sustainable power generation, explained Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) Managing Director Felchesmi Mramba.
Tanzania has big plans for generating electricity from RE resources and this mapping is supporting the country with the availability of information on potential geographical concentration by season and day, Mr. Mramba added.
Tanzania’s RE resources well complement the current ones of hydro and gas and the more they are used, the lower the prices the country will see on its electricity tariffs, explained Anders Pedersen, lead of ESMAP project.
According to the WB, Tanzania has a solar energy potential greater than that one from Spain and wind energy potential greater than the US State of California.