Tanzania, with about 75 per cent of the population in rural areas, has a rural electrification rate of about 6 per cent, which is very low compared to sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 10 per cent. Given the country’s size and sparse distribution of its rural population, grid extension to most parts of the country, including isolated rural areas, appears to be not feasible due to high investment costs. Electrification by renewable energy mini-grids (MGs) in rural area seems to be an economical option for increasing access to electricity without undermining climate change mitigation efforts.
The statistics shows that energy consumption in the country is composed of residential areas (72.5 per cent), industries (14.4 per cent), transport (5.8 per cent), agriculture (4.2 per cent) and others (3.1 per cent). Until June 2016, the total power installed capacity was 1,357.69MW of which 157.7MW was coming from mini-grids. According to the Tanzania National Census of 2012, the country’s population was 44.9 million, with a growth rate of 2.9 per cent per annum. The current projected population of the country is more than 50 million. The national electrification target is to achieve access rate of 75 per cent by 2035. Increasing access to electricity has so far remained to be a big challenge. In 2016, only about 24 percent had access to electricity with a dramatic difference between population accessing electricity in urban areas (43 per cent access) and rural areas (just 6 per cent). The workshop was organized by the World Resource Institute (WRI) in collaboration with TaTEDO and debated on options for accelerating off-grid electrification solutions in Tanzania. The workshop was held at the Serena Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in October 4, 2017 from 8:30 am to 5.00 pm. The main objective is to debate on efforts, experiences and challenges of accelerating development of the off-grid electrification in Tanzania. This event brought together 50 participants (DFIs, Private Sector and CSOs and Media) working in the energy, environment, finance and related sectors to discuss options for accelerating off-grid electrification solutions in Tanzania. The workshop focused on exploring some of the resources that government, development finance institutions, entrepreneurs and civil society stakeholders can draw on to implement off-grid solutions. WRI and TaTEDO also launched their new report on "Accelerating Mini-grid Deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from Tanzania" and engage stakeholders in discussions around some of the key findings of the report.