Tanzania has been recently named as one of eleven countries in the Sub-Saharan region to benefit with a USD 100,000 grant from three US non-profit organizations.
The amount awarded is meant to expand the use of clean energy in the country and is one of eleven USD 100,000 grants to be distributed between eleven countries in the region to promote renewable energy projects.
The program called Off-grid Energy Challenge, is part of the Beyond the Grid Initiative organized and funded by General electric Africa, US African Development Foundation (USADF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The challenge is expected to benefit 39 start-up companies in the clean energy industry with a total award of USD 3.9 million for the winning projects, which will be released from now up to the end of 2018.
In Tanzania, Lupali district which has been granted with the first USD 100,000, will use the funds to connect neighboring villages to St. Gertrude Convent low-cost off-grid hydro power, with a generation capacity of 317 KW and developed with the support of the UN Conference on Financing for Development (UNCFD) at a total cost of USD 1.9 million.
This project and future ones are expected to provide electricity and light to more than 10,000 people and are meant to support the initiative’s goal of encouraging more entrepreneurs in the clean energy industry, which have helped rural communities to access power by implementing solar-powered mini-grids, home solar systems and increasing credit funds’ liquidity, explained the organizers in a joint statement.
The initiative expects to triple the power generation in the Sub-Saharan region by adding 30,000 MW and 60 million connections according to a US President Barack Obama statement during the first US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in August, 2014 when he unveiled the initiative’s final goal.
Tanzania plans to increase its generation capacity from the current installed 1,308 MW to 2,780 MW with the initiative.
Tanzania ranks fourth in the list of the eleven benefited countries in terms of increase on power generation, with Nigeria topping the list with a goal of 11,445 MW from the 6,000 MW currently installed according to USAID.