Tanzania plans to connect over 6,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to its national grid, more than its present total power output, as President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan pushes for swift economic reforms to attract investors. Tanzania said on April 29 that by the end of May, it would have signed an agreement with Equinor and Exxon Mobil to build a $30 billion LNG project.
Tanzania’s gas reserves are projected to be about 57 trillion cubic feet, but conflicts with oil companies over production-sharing have stymied investment. President Hassan, on the other hand, has reopened talks with energy companies to resurrect offshore natural gas project construction in 2023. However, while the East African country tries to revive its gas industry, the renewable energy sector is expected to develop at its fastest rate in decades. The JNHPP (Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project) is nearing completion, and the Rumakali and Ruhudji hydropower facilities are set to start producing 222MW and 358MW, respectively.
Tanzania, which now has a total electrical supply of slightly over 1,605 MW, will benefit greatly from the new investments. As per Energy News Africa, Ms. Hassan targeted up to 700MW of solar power during a recent trip to the United States, and Tanzania is also hoping to fast move into wind energy.
“Tanzania uses natural gas to generate electricity and aims to use wind energy as well. “Geothermal energy is also being studied,” she added. If achieved, Hassan’s aggressive 6,000MW green energy development strategy will make Tanzania, after Morocco and South Africa, one of Africa’s leading renewable energy-generating states.
South Africa achieved a total installed capacity of 58,095 megawatts, of which about 6,065 megawatts was clean energy, according to the ESI Africa rating as of May 2021. By 2030, Morocco wants to achieve 8,000 MW of renewable energy installed. According to GlobalData, it had 4,300 megawatts of deployed renewable energy in the year 2021, according to the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development.
Renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, is becoming a more appealing option due to its efficiency and quickness of installation. Tanzania will have the greatest installed electricity capacity in Central and East Africa, ahead of Ethiopia and Kenya, depending on how fast it achieves its goal of 6,000 megawatts.
President Hassan is also speeding up plans to electrify rural areas. Tanzania had previously planned to increase installed output to 4,700 MW by the year 2025 and 7,400 MW by the year 2035, with the goal of providing power to at least 75% of the population by the year 2033. The new timelines were unknown at the time.
President Hassan received $1 billion in investment arrangements from various American companies during her trip to the United States three weeks ago, most of which were in the energy industry. Her continuous travels throughout Africa and abroad reflect a substantial shift in Dodoma’s diplomatic posture, which analysts believe is aimed at assuaging investor concerns.