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Status of Power Sub sector Reforms and Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Tanzania


Eng. Ngosi Mwihava and Eng. H.A. Mbise


Electricity generation in Tanzania is from hydro, petroleum, imports (from Zambia and Uganda), coal, biomass, and to some extent, solar photovoltaic. 

With the on-going reforms (in the parastatal, civil service and financial sectors) renewable energy technologies have to compete with other conventional forms of energy. Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) is presently the sole public utility responsible with electricity generation, transmission and distribution. In the new electricity industry structure, TANESCO, which is presently a vertically integrated utility, will be divided into separate segments responsible for power generation, transmission and distribution. The Government owns the utility and is the policy maker and the regulator of the electricity industry at the moment until when the Regulator - Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) is operational. 

Renewable energy sources in the country include both solar PV and solar thermal; wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal. Renewable energy technologies, which have registered some significant success include: solar PV and solar thermal; biogas; improved bio-cookstoves; bio-waste for power generation (cogeneration); and, wind turbines for mechanical power for mainly water pumping.  

Dissemination of renewable energy and energy conservation and efficiency has been slow due to a number of barriers including: 

  • Low level of awareness

  • Inadequate financial capacity

  • Inadequate technical skills

  • Weak implementation of policy interventions.

This paper gives a brief status of the Power Sub-sector Reforms in Tanzania. The reforms have been linked with renewable energy development and energy conservation and efficiency initiatives. Some comments have been provided on power sub-sector reforms regarding energy conservation and efficiency, cogeneration and solar water heating. 

Highlights of key barriers to the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency have also been reviewed briefly. A few initiatives on regulatory issues, policy, technology/research and investment to promote the use of cogeneration and solar water heating have been proposed.

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