THE number of Tanzanian households having reliable access to electricity will increase significantly within the next 20 years, after investment of about 30trillion/- (US$20billion), that the government plans to pump into the energy sector.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr David Jairo, said under the Power System Master Plan, annual household power connectivity was expected to rise from 60,000 at present to 100,000.
"Under the government's plan, the percentage of households with connection to electricity would go up from 14 per cent at present to 21 per cent in 2030," Mr Jairo said in a speech read on his behalf by the Commissioner for Minerals and Petroleum Affairs, Mr Bashir Mrindoko, at the 4th Annual Energy Sector Review Workshop in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
He, however, said that the country's target was to reach 75 per cent electrification by 2033.
“With annual population growth at 2.8 per cent, adding 100,000 connections every year, would mean attaining only 21 per cent electrification by 2030. But to achieve the government's 2033 goal, will need 485,000 connections yearly," Mr Jairo said.
Mr Mrindoko told journalists later that the workshop brought together various local and foreign stakeholders in the energy sector, describing it as a crucial platform in evaluation of the government's plans and drawing up the way forward.
He said hydropower contributed 56 per cent to the country's power supply, but the generation was often vulnerable to vicissitudes in weather conditions. The country has often been subjected to power shedding when water levels at dams feeding hydropower stations drop.
Other sources of electricity in the country include diesel-fired thermal generators and natural gas to electricity plants. There are also grand plans to generate electricity from coal and uranium in the near future.
Industry sources say Tanzania produces 540 megawatts (MW) of electricity, against the national demand of about 900 MW.
Mr Mrindoko said the Power System Master Plan was expected to bring down electricity tariffs in the country. However, the commissioner declined to provide details of the master plan.
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