Access to electricity is fundamental in Tanzania’s social and economic development. In an era with rapid changes in technological advancements, electricity has become a necessity.
The country mainly relies on hydropower and fossil fuels for its electricity generation, but it has its own shortcomings such as high maintenance costs and negative impacts on the environment. Many renewable energy options, such as solar or wind power, have been proposed as alternatives to fossil fuels.
If properly used, renewable energy sources could be a more efficient, cost saving, and sustainable model of providing electricity.
Some natural power sources are already being utilized, though not at their full potential. Solar energy has recently grown to become a popular renewable energy option. This form of energy is suitable for Tanzania, as sunlight is abundant.
In this article, we will take you through renewable energy options in Tanzania.
Solar energy is the most common form of renewable energy in Tanzania. It is an efficient and cost saving option for homes and institutions in the country. Solar is often the primary choice for households and businesses in areas not connected to the main grid. Businesses that are conscious of their carbon footprint also prefer solar.
As a company dealing with the installation of solar systems, we can state with confidence that solar energy is an affordable and reliable option for your energy needs. You can expect a good quality solar system to last 25 to 30 years at optimum capacity.
Preliminary findings from a renewable energy resource mapping project conducted by the World Bank show that over 10% of Tanzania has a high potential for wind power energy. The wind resources are concentrated on the Great Lakes regions, the plains and the highland regions of the Rift Valley.
Areas like Kititimo in Singida region and Makambako in Njombe have been identified as having adequate wind speeds for grid-scale power generation. More regions are being assessed for their wind potential and as of 2017, 4 companies had shown interest in investing in wind energy.
Some areas of Tanzania suffer from insufficient electricity production and difficulties in national grid expansion. Small hydropower plants have been identified as a potential solution to relieve the burden.
Currently, small hydro projects in Tanzania are not prominently used. However, about 140 hydropower sites have been identified for smallscale electrification which would serve over 1 million people.
Most Tanzanians already use biomass fuel, primarily wood and charcoal, for household cooking needs. While these are forms of biomass, they have led to overexploitation of forests. There are more sustainable options that would take advantage of natural waste products.
Sustainable biomass options include sugarcane bagasse, sisal, rice husks, coffee husks, forest residue, and solid waste. Sugarcane plantations in Tanzania have the potential to generate almost 10% of the country’s power needs through biomass.
In terms of cost, using renewable energy is cheaper in the long run than conventional power generation methods.
Solar energy is readily available in Tanzania and the installation of solar systems can be done for individual consumers/businesses without requiring grid integrations. Solar energy systems are currently being used more than any other renewable energy option.
Gadgetronix is among the pioneers of solar power in Tanzania. We have installed hundreds of systems using products sourced from reputable international suppliers.
For your solar power needs, get in touch with us for a consultation. We may need to conduct a site visit to present you with an accurate estimate of a system fit for your needs.