M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: Life Changes for the Better As Msolwa Village Gets Electricity

Posted on : Wednesday, 29th October 2014


To realise these targets, the country requires adequate, reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly electricity supply.
According to REA Director General, Eng Lutengano Mwakahesya, the rural residents get connected by paying 27,000/- only and that the low cost is aimed at encouraging more people to access the power service and that the income is injected into Rural Energy Fund (REF).
Minimising the costs of the electrical networks is vital to facilitate more rural people access the service for a given budget. The government has committed itself to implementing the new strategy to address modern energy needs of over 85 per cent of Tanzanians living in rural areas.
The Rural Energy Fund provides resources for grants towards the capital costs of projects implemented by private and public entities, co-operatives, and local community organisations. However, the fund does not provide grants towards the operating or debt service costs of any project or developer.
The fund has set 4.6 bn/- this year to fund the third round for the Lightning Rural Tanzania Grant Competition in which 20 winning entries stand to receive cash prizes.
A total of 187 concept note applications have been received and evaluated by independent assessors. The finalists whose proposed projects target to provide electricity to between 600 and 3,000 villagers across the country had been recently invited to demonstrate their anticipated schemes by displaying various products and technologies related to their ideas at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) premises.
The competition seeks to support an innovative and sustainable local-level solution that improves the modern energy services for rural communities in the country and increasing the participation of private sector entrepreneurs in rural energy projects.
Chairman of REA Board, Mr Edmund Mkwawa, explains that the lighting competition initiative is one of the strategies adopted by REA to promote increased access to modern energy service in rural areas.
The REA's goal is to increase access to modern services in key rural social service areas as health, education, water, communication. The over-riding objective is universal access to modern energy services to the rural population of Tanzania.
Established under Rural Energy Act No. 8 of 2005, REA promotes, coordinates and facilitates private sector initiatives and entrepreneurship in rural energy supply.
The agency also ensures continued electrification of rural commercial centres and households. According to the National Electrification Programme, by 2015/16, 30 per cent of the population shall have access to electricity, further increasing to 50 per cent by 2020 and 75 per cent by 2035.
Low electrification ratio is barrier to economic development. At the end of 2013, about 18 per cent of the households in Mainland Tanzania had been electrified thanks to REA. In urban areas, the percentage was about 45 per cent and in rural areas somewhat below 6 per cent.
The grid connection plan of the programme would electrify about 5,500 settlements until end of 2022, leaving more than 6,000 settlements as candidates for off-grid electrification or distributed technologies.
Off-grid electrification is strongly recommended for settlements which are too far from the grid to warrant grid connection but whose electrification promises substantial socio-economic benefits.
The programme estimates the potential for off-grid electrification by decentralised solutions with focus on small hydropower plants and small biomass- fuelled plants.
The programme identifies off-grid projects which in consultant's view deserve being given priority because of the size of the settlements.
The government created REA to have an agency which focuses on rural electrification. Creating the agency in charge of Rural Electrification (RE) is a sign of the importance that the government attributes to RE.

Source : all africa
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