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SolarQuarter Africa magazine got an exclusive chance to interview Prosper Magali – Chairperson, Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), and learned how TAREA is encouraging RE, the challenges being faced, the present situation of RE in Tanzania and how it can be improved.
Kindly tell us how is TAREA encouraging the use of sustainable renewable energy and environmentally friendly technologies in Tanzania?
One of the key tasks for TAREA is to advocate and promote sustainable use and application of renewable energy and environmentally friendly technologies in Tanzania.
We, therefore, among other things, participate in policy and regulation dialogues with the government and other stakeholders to ensure a better regulatory environment for the adoption of clean and renewable energy technologies in Tanzania. Our members consent to our code of conduct and vision to only engage in clean and renewable energy technologies in all of their daily activities. We facilitate partnerships between local and international entities for the purpose of developing ideas and projects that contribute to the use and application of renewable energy in Tanzania.
Which have been the major successful projects carried out by TAREA?
Our advocacy that led to the government exempting importation taxes (duties and VAT) for solar and wind products is one of the projects that we are really proud of. The decision led to the successful and massive adoption of solar, in particular for lighting, in every corner of the country such that kerosene usage for lighting has dramatically dropped. Our flagship annual event “The National Renewable Energy Day” is also one of the success stories for TAREA. The event attracts national and international players and stakeholders in the renewable energy space to deliberate, showcase, and exhibit renewable energy technologies to the general public. The event will also run this year in November 2022.
How is the present situation of renewable energy in Tanzania? How can it be improved?
Tanzania was among the pioneers and early champions to adopt and promote renewable energy technologies in SSA and it has remained so for many years. We have a strong political will and supportive government for the sector. We have a huge market for the technologies as over 70% of the population lives in rural areas with an overall electricity national connectivity rate of 40%. We have huge potential for hydro (7.5GW), Solar (670MWp with solar insolation of 4.5 to 6kWh per meter squared), Wind (1000MW with an average wind speed of 3 to 10m/s), and Geothermal (5000MW). Biomass contributes over 80% of all household energy needs and hence technologies for sustainable use of biomass are highly encouraged and promoted.
What are the challenges currently being faced by Tanzania in terms of RE adoption?
In general, we have one of the best environments to promote renewable energy adoption in Tanzania. We only need to ensure our already-in-place-good policies are enforced and implemented. To attract more investors into the RE space, our policies need to be stable and predictable. This is the work that TAREA and other stakeholders are working on to make our politicians and the public sector align.
What is TAREA’s goal for the next couple of years?
My vision is to make TAREA a one-stop shop for all RE information, data, research, partnerships, collaborations, etc. We want to have a strong voice in energy planning activities in the country. This is the goal for TAREA in the next couple of years.