Published: MAY 19, 2022

Current energy use and impacts

Cut it off

Stop massive impact of heavily use of biomass

Among several energy sources used in Tanzania, biomass is the largest energy resource constituting 85.7% of all the energy source used in the country. This energy is used in the form of firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating purposes. Several studies as reported by Omari et al., (2020) reveals on massive forest and land degradation impacts resulted from excessive use of biomass for heating and cooking purposes. Other attributing factors include rapid population growth, land use changes and agriculture practices, and that all these preceding conducts continue to degrade ecosystems and furthermore leading to climate change impacts. The remaining energy sources contributes to the electricity supplied into households, industries, and manufacturing factories by TANESCO and IPPs. According to Energy access and use situation survey II in Tanzania Mainland of 2020, seventy-seven (77%) of electricity is used for lighting in households followed by refrigerating (4.7%), cooling (2.9%), security (2.8%) and 5.8% for other uses (URT, 2020). Previous studies have equally indicated that households in rural areas of Tanzania use electricity for lighting and with at least two to three light bulbs (Chaplin et al., 2017) but with limited use on productive uses (Barron and Torero 2016; CANTZ, 2019).  In recent years there has been an increase of electricity use including solar energy in education and health sectors. Other institutions using solar energy include church institutions and communities running shops/kiosks and youth entertainment centers.

Increasing power system load factor

The way towards stable prices

Tanzania has experienced a steady but slightly increasing power system [1]load factor (LF) from 2009 to 2019. Figure 1 shows the highest load factor to peak in a year 2012 to 76%, however an average load factor of 64.6 from the year 2000 to 2019 have been recorded. The Tanzania power system master plan have been relying on 70% as a benchmark for planning and distribution of electricity in the entire country. Steady and increasing load factor ensures a stable unit costs of electricity charged to customers and that projects electricity affordability stability while creating an enabling environment for wide use of electricity consumption in the country. Tanzania National five years development plan 2021/20 – 2025/26 (NFYDP III) under development emphasizes on promoting renewable green energy technologies including wind, solar and geothermal energy sources in Tanzania. This planning further reflects on green energy systems as the key to natural resources and environmental protection tool and thus contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the country.

Cheap and reliable

The need for affordable and accessible energy for economic growth

Tanzania has achieved the goal for becoming a middle economy country five years earlier than planned under the development vision 2025. Much of the country's efforts lies along massive industrialization that push the national economic growth and sustainable development by 2025. However, a number of challenges keep impairing full industrialization scenario in the country including unreliable and costly power for running industries.

Tap the potential

Leverage on the rich RE sources of Tanzania

Tanzania has a lot of renewable energy sources such as biomass, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biogas, wind, tidal, and waves (Bishoge et al., 2018). Despite their abundance, renewable energy sources are given low priority by both government and private sector.  (Bishoge et al., 2018).

 Rise and Shine

Rising Awareness for the potential of RE

This is a challenge affiliated by the historical treatment and arrangement along energy sector whereby the colonial era government prioritized energy distribution towards railway posts, industrial and critical productions. This paradigm has impacted the energy sector coordination and arrangement to date in Tanzania.

The government, in collaboration with other stakeholders such as private companies, is carrying out awareness and demonstration campaigns on the use of solar systems for domestic and industrial use. Value Added Tax and import tax for main solar components such as panels, batteries, inverters, and regulators have been detached to permit end consumers to get photovoltaic systems at more consistent and reasonable prices (Bishoge et al., 2018).

(This section is part of the Policy Recommendation Report that analysis the landscape of the Energy Sector and Policy in Tanzania. Learn more about it here: )

[1] Load factor is an expression of how much energy was used in a time period, versus how much energy would have been used, if the power had been left on during a period of peak demand.