EU invests into Tanzania’s renewables sectors

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A US$200 million investment from the European Union’s Energy for Growth and Sustainable Development program will help Tanzania increase its access to electricity through the construction of small hydropower plants and other renewable projects.

The announcement comes days after the EU released a report titled, “Empowering Tanzania”, in which it said only about 500 MW of the African country’s 4,700 MW of hydroelectric potential has been exploited.

The funding is part of the EU’s development support program, which focuses on energy, agriculture and governance.

Specifically, the initiative will help pay for a number of unspecified small hydroelectric projects in the country’s southern regions, in addition to several solar installations, and transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Fewer than 1.5 million of the country’s 45 million residents are served by national utility Tanzania Electric Supply Co. Ltd., according to EU data, while its cumulative capacity across all forms of generation tally around 1,500 MW.

Tanzania has been active in addressing its energy deficit, signing a memorandum of understanding with Malawi to develop a 180-MW hydropower plant earlier this month. The government also recently launched prefeasibility studies for the 300-MW Kibonge plant that would be located along the Ruhuhu River.

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