Solar in Tanzania

The demand for electrical power generation from sustainable, renewable sources is now a global issue. In some countries in Europe electrical power generated from commercial photovoltaic and wind sources has become a mainstream industry. The African continent is emerging as a leading player in the developing world where effective and reliable power generation is becoming increasingly more necessary for ensuring business and personal productivity. In Tanzania the national grid supplies electricity to 12% of the nation’s population, the majority of this supply being in urban areas. 75% of Tanzanian grid power is generated from large hydro sources the reliability of which is wholly dependent upon widely fluctuating rainfall patterns. Widespread load shedding and voltage reduction is common.

Solar insolation values for Tanzania are at least twice that of those available in Europe (see a map of the solar irradiation in Tanzania by SolarGIS here) because of the longer solar window available at equatorial latitudes, making solar power an attractive long term investment option for companies and individuals seeking a robust, reliable and independent power supply. As the renewable energy market matures worldwide photovoltaic and associated technologies will see an increase in efficiency and decrease in cost making the technology available to a broader range of interests. Renewable energy is here to stay.

Country/market studies

Tanzania Renewable Energy Country Profile 2015 – AFDB (African Development Bank)

Tanzania Market Information – RECP (Africa EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme)

Tanzania’s Solar Energy Market – GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) (2009)

Target Market Study Tanzania – Wind and Solar – Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya (2013)

Off-grid solar country briefing: Tanzania – Overseas Development Institute (2016)

Solar and Bioenergy in Tanzania (in German) – Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya

European Investment in Tanzania – Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania (2016) Gives a good brief on the Tanzanian Power Sector.

Energy Access Situation Report Tanzania Mainland – REA – Rural Energy Agency / NBS – National Bureau of Statistics (2016)

Renewable energy support programs/organisations

Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA) – TAREA is a member based non government non profit-making organization working to scale up access to the renewable energy technologies. It does so by means of training, community awareness raising, policy development, solar industry and end-user protection, research, volunteer programs, consultancy services and services provided by members.

EEP Africa – EEP Africa promotes renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency (EE), and clean technology investments in Southern and Eastern Africa and is funded by Finish, UK and Austrian donors.

GVEP International – GVEP support the development and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises that deliver energy products and services to the poor. It has programs supported by different donors and operates in East and West Africa.

Pico Solar / Pay-as-you-go solar companies in Tanzania

Mobisol – Mobisol wants to “plug in the world“. It combines solar energy with an payment plan via mobile phone, customer service and remote monitoring technology. It is headquartered in Berlin and has local offices/shops all over Tanzania.

Zola / Off-Grid Electric – Off-Grid Electric is an American company which operates under the brand name Zola in Tanzania and sells pico solar systems which are paid for using mobile money.

M-Kopa Solar – M-Kopa is an Kenyan company mainly focusing on the Kenyan market, however, they also started selling their pico solar systems in the Tanzanian market.

Sikubora – Sikubora originates from the USA, however, purely focuses on the Tanzanian market with it’s Pico Solar Home Systems.

SolarGridTZ – SolarGrid is a Tanzanian company aiming to provide solar energy to 80% of the Tanzania population which does not have access to power yet.

NGOs active with solar in Tanzania