Tanzania still miles away from clean energy goal

Wednesday June 22 2022
Energy pic
By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha. Low resource allocation and failure to embrace the right technologies have limited Tanzania’s transition to clean energy.

Due to the drawback, there had been limited involvement of the rural communities in the drive, said the stakeholders.

“The rural communities are being left out in the planned move to clean energy,” they observed during a recent dialogue.

The forum between the public officials and the civil society organisations (CSOs) was organised by a local network of climate change activists.

They said unless the government addresses the barriers, lack of access to clean energy could also be a hindrance to the Vision 2050 goals towards energy transition.

“I had a 32 inch solar-powered TV screen, of which I am not using any longer because its power cable was damaged,” said Enock Mchome, a resident of Same in Kilimanjaro Region.

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He was sharing his experience on the slow pace of investment in the technological development in clean energy transition endeavour in Tanzania.

Ms Zainabu Daudi, a councillor from the same district, said the private sector was not actively playing its part in the drive.

This, according to her, was due to limited knowledge and information about the demands of clean energy “which include equipment and technologies”.

She went on: “These, in rural areas, are compounded by unclear business cases that could have been used to attract their investment”.

Titus Onesmo, a CSO representative said there had been little progress in achieving the goal despite clean energy main streamed in the national climate change agenda.

Many workers in the local government and actors in the private sector, he pointed out, are “unaware of this term (clean energy) and are thus inactive in the green growth”.

Mr Onesmo said the government policy initiatives meant to ramp up green energy in the country should be promoted and decentralised “for the understanding by the local government and the private sector”.

Mr Gaspary Gratian, also from the CSOs, alluded that there had been “little impact” of the government’s pledges on boosting clean energy such as the wind and solar energies.

“There is a gap between the political commitment and the actual implementation at local levels and the non-state processes on the transition,” he said.

Mr Gratian argued that a “real transition’ to clean energy needed reforms in terms of stakeholders’ engagement and public awareness.

Tanzania is credited for having an abundance of clean energy resources such as the solar radiation necessary for generating large-scale power year round.

It is estimated that 83 percent of the country’s land area has annual average radiation of above 4.5 units (kilowatt hours), and 14 percent is above 5.5 units.

This means the solar resource for power generation using solar photovoltaic technologies is viable in most, if not all, the country.

Solar power helps rural communities end the information divide through access to TV, and the communication divide through charging mobile phones.