According to the World Bank’s recent findings Tanzania has immense solar and wind power potential that could provide much-needed energy for the developing nation.
The country’s resources suitable for solar power generation are estimated to be equivalent to those of Spain, and areas of high wind power potential cover more than 10 % of the country, a greater potential than the US State of California.
According to the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) the current electrification rate in Tanzania stands at 18.4 %.
The target is to increase the access to modern electricity to 75 % of the population by 2035.
The Government of Tanzania has requested the support of the World Bank and ESMAP’s Renewable Energy Mapping Initiative to enhance the country’s knowledge on renewable energy development, and increase the awareness of the private sector to develop these resources.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Dar Es Salaam last month on the findings, the Managing Director of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), Mr. Felchesmi Mramba mentioned that “These maps will be good guidance for investors who are interested in investing in renewable power projects, thereby speeding up the expansion of sustainable power generation”.
Tanzania’s energy mapping is part of a global, USD 22.5 million initiative by ESMAP to help 12 countries analyze their renewable energy resources to guide policymakers and investors.
The USD 2.8 million program in Tanzania is one of the largest under this initiative.
After the briefing on the findings the country inaugurated its first solar and wind mapping station, on the rooftop of the Physics Department at the University of Dar Es Salaam.
According to the Five Year Development Plan (FYDP) under Tanesco’s Power System Master Plan (PSMP) the target is to increase per capita electricity consumption from 81kWh in 2011/12 to 200kWh by 2015/16.
The resource mapping activity is part of a broader World Bank program of technical assistance that will assist the Government of Tanzania in scaling up small-hydro power potential and building the capacity of key stakeholders in each of the above areas.