Tanzania is endowed with diverse energy sources including biomass, natural gas, hydro, coal, geothermal, solar, wind, and uranium, much of which is untapped. Tanzania’s total energy installed capacity is 1,938.35 MW as of 31st December 2023.
Tanzania Energy Generation & Demand
The country’s total installed energy production capacity is 1,938.35MW. The grid installed capacity is 1,899.05MW, while the off-grid installed capacity is 39.30MW
The current maximum demand was recorded in August 2023 at 1,482.80 MW. The Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) estimates that the energy demand is growing at a rate of 10-15% per year.
The vast majority of the electricity is produced by TANESCO, which operates 8 natural gas power plants, 7 hydropower plants, 2 heavy fuel oil plants, and 7 small gas oil power plants, as of 2022.
The only large independent power producer (IDP) is Songas, responsible for producing 190 MW utilizing natural gas from the gas field located on and offshore Songo Songo island, about 15 km from the mainland and 200 km south of Dar es Salaam.
There are also a number of small power producers (SPP) which produce a negligible amount of electricity from hydro and biomass resources.
The Tanzanian government aims to elevate its power generation capacity to 5,000 MW by 2025, with the completion of the Julius Nyerere hydropower project with a capacity of 2,100 MW and increased use of natural gas.
Tanzania Energy Sources (Power Mix)
Of the grid installed capacity of 1,899.05 MW, 1,193.82 MW or 63% is produced with natural gas, 601.60 MW or 32% is hydropower, 83.93 MW or 4% is produced with fuel, and 10.5 MW or less than 1% is obtained with biomass.
Tanzania Gas Power
Of Tanzania’s grid installed capacity of 1,899.05 MW, 1,193.82 MW or 63% is produced with natural gas.
Tanzania’s natural gas reserves are estimated at 57 trillion cubic feet with a total annual production of 110 billion cubic feet. The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) estimates that the country’s gas fields are large enough to cover the domestic power requirements and make Tanzania the next natural gas hub in Africa.
Tanzania’s natural gas is produced from three fields: Songo Songo, Mnazi Bay, and Kiliwani North. The total gas production stands at approximately 175 cubic feet per day.
Gas Power Plants
TANESCO operates most of the gas power plants. Ubungo Power Plant is a significant contributor, with three phases known as Ubungo I, II, and III, boasting capacities of 102 MW, 129 MW, and 120 MW, respectively. Another important facility is the Tegeta Power Plant, which adds 45 MW to the grid. The Kinyerezi Power Plants, with their two phases, I and II, are also vital, providing 150 MW and 248.22 MW, respectively. Additionally, the Mtwara Power Plant contributes 30.60 MW, and the Somanga Power Plant adds 7.5 MW.
To that, independent power producer Songas add 190 MW to the installed power capacity utilizing natural gas from the gas Songo Songo fields.
Of Tanzania’s grid installed capacity of 1,899.05 MW, 601.60 MW or 32% is produced via hydropower.
The Tanzanian hydropower capacity relies on the country’s vast water resources, which include lakes such as Lake Victoria, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Rukwa, Manyara, Eyasi, and Natroni, as well as rivers and basins across the country.
Hydropower installed capacity in Tanzania stands at 601.60 MW, while the Ministry of Energy of Tanzania estimates the potential additional capacity to be as high as 4.7 GW. However, weak transmission infrastructure is considered a significant short-term barrier.
Furthermore, small hydro has the potential of 1,500 MW of which 5% only is harnessed for power.
TANESCO owns several hydropower plants across Tanzania. The Kidatu plant, with a capacity of 204 MW, and the Kihansi plant, at 180 MW, are among the largest. Other facilities include Mtera with 80 MW, New Pangani Falls at 68 MW, Hale at 21 MW, Nyumba ya Mungu at 8 MW, and the smallest, Uwemba, with 0.84 MW.
Ongoing Hydropower Projects
The traditional dependence on hydropower combined with the droughts that are affecting the country, often result in power supply shortages. This is why several hydropower projects are being developed to dramatically increase the power capacity.
Rufiji Hydropower (Julius Nyerere) Hydropower Plant (2,115 MW)
The Rufiji Hydropower Plant, commonly known as the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station (JNHPP) and formerly known as the Stiegler’s Gorge Dam, is a large hydropower plant being built in southeastern Tanzania on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve.
With a projected capacity of 2,115 megawatts, the plant is the biggest hydroelectric project in both Tanzania and all of Africa and will be able to produce 5,920 GWh of power annually.
Has of January 2024, construction has reached 95.83%.
Rusumo Hydropower Project (80MW)
The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFP) is a collaborative hydropower initiative developed by the Governments of Tanzania Burundi, and Rwanda formalized with a tripartite agreement signed in 2012. It led to the establishment of the Rusumo Power Company (RPCL), a special-purpose company incorporated under the laws of Rwanda in 2013.
The project is situated at the Rusumo Falls, which marks the border between Rwanda and Tanzania along the Kagera River. The hydroelectric generation facilities are positioned on the southern bank of the Kagera River within Tanzanian territory, whereas the associated substation is found on the river’s northern bank, in Rwanda.
TANESCO expects the plant to be commissioned in March 2024.
Malagarasi Hydropower Project (49.5MW)
The Malagarasi Hydropower Project will be a run-of-the-river hydropower plant located on the Malagarasi River in Tanzania. The project is intended to improve power supply in western Tanzania with an average annual energy production of 181 GWh that will mainly serve the local demand in Kigoma and surrounding regions comprising households and social services amenities.
In addition to the run-of-the-river hydropower plant facility, the project will comprise a 132 kV transmission line, 54km long, to evacuate power to the national grid.
TANESCO expects the plant to be commissioned in August 2028.
Kakono Hydropower Project (87.8MW)
The proposed Kakono hydropower plant will be located approximately 90 km west of Bukoba municipality in the Lake Region in northwestern Tanzania. The plant will address the deficits of electricity particularly in Kagera, Geit, and Mwanza regions and will complement the Regional Rusumo Falls hydropower transmission line projects and other related Development Partner (DP) operations in the north-western part of the country, thereby contributing to multi-country infrastructure connectivity to promote cross-border power trade.
TANESCO expects the plant to be commissioned in February 2029.
Tanzania is set to further expand its hydroelectric capacity with other projects in the pipeline, including the Ruhudji (360 MW), and Rumakali (22 MW).
Fuel and Diesel Power Plants
TANESCO operates 2 Heavy Fuel Oil plants: Zuzu, generating 7.40 MW, and Nyakato, with a capacity of 63.00 MW. Additionally, TANESCO manages several gas oil (diesel) power plants, including Biharamulo with 4.14 MW, Songea at 7.67 MW, Namtumbo producing 0.34 MW, Ludewa with 1.27 MW, Mbinga generating 2.00 MW, Madaba at 0.48 MW, and Ngara with 2.50 MW.
Tanzania does not produce oil and is a net importer of petroleum products. In 2022, the country imported USD 3.3 billion worth of petroleum products. Petroleum products supply in Tanzania is conducted through a Bulk Procurement System (BPS) since 2011.
Tanzania imports refined petroleum primarily from India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.
Tanzania Renewable Energies
Tanzania is endowed with diverse renewable energy resources, ranging from biomass and mini-hydro to geothermal, solar and wind.
However, renewable energy (excluding large hydro) accounts (2015) for only about 4.9% of the generation capacity.
Tanzania’s sunshine hours per year range between 2,800 and 3,500 with global horizontal radiation of 4–7kWh per m2 per day.
Solar resources in Tanzania are especially present in the central region, and they are being exploited for both off-grid and grid-connected solutions.
To date, about 6 MW of Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy have been installed in Tanzania.
The Government supports solar development within the country by removing VAT and import taxes on the main solar components (panels, batteries, inverters and regulators).
Tanzania’s wind resource assessments indicate that the Kititimo and Makambako areas have adequate wind speed for grid-scale electricity generation.
At Kititimo wind speeds average 9.9 miles per second and at Makambako they averaged 8.9 miles per second at a height of 30 meters.
In June 2020, Tanzania’s first-ever wind farm in Mwenga in the Mufindi district of Tanzania’s Iringa region started generating electricity as part of its startup testing procedures.
Construction of the 2.4MW power plant was completed in May 2020. It was made possible thanks to a loan from the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), and is operated by the Rift Valley Energy Group.
Tanzania Biomass Sources
Biomass is Tanzania’s largest energy source, although much of it is produced in traditional and unsustainable ways.
It is estimated that more than 95% of households in Tanzania use firewood and charcoal as their source of energy for cooking. In urban areas, about 71% of all urban households consume charcoal and about 19% consume firewood.
Biomass in Tanzania is presently used for grid generation (around 18 MW) and by the agro-industry to generate its own electricity (about 58 MW estimated).
Tanzania Geothermal Potential
Tanzania has geothermal potential in most parts of the East African Rift Valley System. Estimates indicate a potential exceeding 650 MW, with most prospects located in the East African Rift System.
Most of Tanzania’s geothermal prospects have been identified by their on-surface manifestations, mainly hot springs. Surface assessments started in 1976 and, to date, there are over 50 clusters of hot springs identified in the country.
Tanzania’s government established the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC) to specifically deal with the overall development of geothermal resources in the country.
Tanzania Energy Distribution
The generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Tanzania, is channeled through TANESCO, which is fully owned by the government and is responsible for 98% of the electricity produced in the country. In 2022, the company had a customer base of more than 3.7 million.
In Tanzania, there are 2 entities licensed to carry out electricity distribution activities of more than 1 MW of electricity: TANESCO, and Mwenga Power Services.
As of June 2022, the distribution network length was 160,811km, of which 160,367 km was for TANESCO and 444 km for Mwenga. In addition, the 596 km line length was for smaller registered entities.
Tanzania’s rural population was 40,196,497 in 2022, which corresponds to about 65% of the whole population of 61,741,120.
About two decades ago, the Tanzanian government set the targets of 100% rural electricity accessibility and 75% rural electricity connectivity by 2030. For this, in 2005 the Rural Energy Board (REB), the Rural Energy Agency (REA), and the Rural Energy Fund (REF) were established to promote, stimulate, and facilitate access to modern energy services in rural areas of Tanzania.
In November 2023, REA announced that all 12,318 villages across the country will be electrified by June 2024.
Last Update: 8th February 2024