More than 50 potential mini-grid projects in Tanzania were identified by SolarMedia ahead of its Solar & Off-Grid Renewables Summit in Dar Es Salaam.
The country has shown itself to be a leader in this particular market segment with global heavyweights such as Engie and E.On already very active via PowerCorner, Engie’s Ketumbeine project and Rafiki Power, a start-up sitting in the E.On incubator.
Local developers such as home-grown company Ensol Tanzania Ltd. are also driving the market forward with the recent completion of a project in Mpale Village which connected 50 households in September and who are planning a further 250 households by June 2018.
Tanzania has approximately 109 operational mini-grids already, with an installed capacity of 157.7MW most of which are not yet green; around 46% are running on fossil fuels; 33% are biomass, 21% is hydro, 1% are solar and less than 1% are a hybrid. The market is expected to grow considerably in 2018 and will be attributable to government policy which is set up to encourage small power producers to do business in Tanzania.
With standardised protocols in place, the government’s framework for small power producers (SPPs) has outlined the role of an SPP, the PPA and the support mechanism available, which is tied to the US dollar.
Finance is the only thing missing but funds are in place to stimulate market growth and the major organizations involved in the early stages of the market will be attending the summit.