Tanzania Eyes Geothermal Energy to Curb Power Shortages

The government intends to diversify the power generation mix in the national grid system by increasing the proportion of natural renewable energy sources.

Deputy Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Stephen Masele revealed the information in Dar es Salaam, while opening a workshop on Geothermal Legal and Regulatory Framework.

“We have noted that electricity demand in the country is increasing rapidly due to accelerated productive investments and population; with the plan in line, we will increase electrification status in the country,” he said.

Mr Masele mentioned geothermal resources as one of the indigenous power generation source to be developed for expanding power supply.

He told the participants at the workshop that the government is putting in place the required policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for geothermal development as well as mobilizing more funds for detailed geothermal resources assessment and mapping.

“The government through the ministry of energy has already formed a task force to strategize and advise the government on how geothermal resources development efforts could be effectively strengthened, coordinated and streamlined to achieve geothermal energy production in the near future,” he noted.

According to Mr Masele, lack of existence of renewable energy policy, legal and regulatory frameworks is among challenges behind renewable energy production including geothermal. Mr Masele said that the workshop was timely as it will be an eye opener to all stakeholders to ensure frameworks are put in place.

Other challenges include inadequate awareness to decision makers and land planners, capacity to develop geothermal and high cost of geothermal exploration.

Supported by African Development Bank and British High Commission, the AfDB Resident Representative, Ms Tonia Kandiero said the workshop is aimed at discussing the subject regarding geothermal legal and regulatory framework.

Being one of the East African countries passed by Rift Valley system where geothermal sites are found, Tanzania has a geothermal potential of more than 650 Mw, most of the prospects being located within the East African Rift Valley System.