Wind energy development in Tanzania

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has started to asses the amount of wind energy available for local and foreign investors who intend to engage in wind power generation.
According to the renewable energy official in the Ministry, the exercise has started in Singida, Njombe and Kilimanjaro regions.

“We want to identify what are called, wind atlases, which would show areas that have potential energy for electricity generation…” he announced When completed, the project is hoped to attract more investors in the sector and stimulate the country’s economic growth what with investors already showing interest particularly to Central Tanzania.

The National Development Corporation (NDC) and Power Pool East Africa jointly own wind turbine projects and expect to extend power generation up to 300 MW in the coming five years.

Statistics shows the demand for power in Tanzania is growing by more than 50 MW every year, fuelled partly by the expansion of mining undertakings in parts of the country.

Currently, hydroelectricity is the major source of energy in Tanzania. The wind farm in Singida promises local power generation that is of immense benefit to the local economy, providing jobs during the construction phase and recurrent opportunities when fully operational.

Wind power on a commercial scale is unknown in sub-Saharan Africa despite the existence of consistently strong winds, especially along the top of the rift valley, the mountain plateaus which runs through East Africa from Ethiopia to Malawi and Mozambique.

In Europe, the industry is well developed. Germany, the European leader in terms of generation produces more than 25 gigawatts of power from wind turbines.

Wind energy development in Tanzania started about 3 decades ago when some wind turbines were installed in several locations in the country to pump water for human and animal consumption and in a few cases for irrigation.

The initial analysed wind speed data revealed that the wind energy potential in Tanzania is fairly high. Until then, the nation lags behind in power generation with decades of continued rationing and blackouts, disastrous to business development as well as an ever increasing threat to social welfare and the quality of life.