Tanzania will begin construction of a $120 million wind power project early next year to curb chronic energy shortages in east Africa’s second-biggest economy.
The wind power project, which aims to inject an initial 50 MW into the national power grid 15 months after its commencement, comes at a time when the country wrestles with hiked power tariffs and a largely unreliable power sector.
Construction of the first-ever wind farm in the country, in the central town of Singida, will add some 50 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid.
Although in the past we have talked a lot about exploring alternative energy sources, little had followed such talk. As a result the country continues to experience power blackouts that impact negatively on productivity.
Tanzania’s chances of industrialization, and hence poverty eradication, can only be enhanced if we exploit all energy potentials that exist in our country.
Because energy is crucial to the industrialization of any country, we have to earnestly begin exploiting the rich energy sources – such as geothermal, solar power, wind energy, hydro, petroleum and coal – that abound in our country.
Besides, in a world that is increasingly leaning towards clean energy sources, Tanzania has to take advantage of such alternative energy sources.
The country produces most of its electricity from hydro dams and generates close to 300 MW using natural gas from a deposit on Songosongo island off the coast. Its energy demand is close to 900 MW while it produces less than 800 MW.