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REA to scale up power generation mix model

REA to scale up power generation mix model

THE Rural Energy Agency (REA) is eyeing to scale up the electricity generation mix model on its projects in a grand plan to ensure sufficient supply and affordable electricity in rural areas across the country.

Currently, a 50 megawatts solar energy project is being executed from Kishapu to Shinyanga of which upon its completion, it is anticipated to produce up to 150 megawatts.

REA Director General, Eng Hassan Saidy, disclosed this in Dar es Salaam, on Tuesday while outlining the achievements, challenges and direction of the agency as Tanzania marks its 60th Independence Anniversary.

Eng Saidy further noted that, Tanzania is endowed with enough sunlight, where in one day the country can access on average 10-12 hours of the sun, which contribute highly to the country's renewable energy electricity generation.

"This is among crucial areas which can contribute to the generation balance, reduce destruction of the environment and bring technical advantages such as improving electricity access as well as lead to reliable access to electricity countrywide," said Eng Saidy.

According to him, REA works hand in hand with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) to ensure solar energy generation becomes a reality through the establishment of major solar farms in the various areas including Singida, Dodoma and Arusha.

Clarifying further, the Assistant Commissioner for Electricity Development at the Ministry of Energy, Eng Styden Rwebangila, observed that the energy policy indicates the employment of generation mix to be safe and for all the citizens to enjoy reliable and affordable access to electricity.

Eng Rwebangila outlined some of the areas which have been earmarked for the development of renewable energy includes Singida, Same and Dodoma.

"We are also in the process of obtaining independent developers for the up take of 145 megawatt project, which will contribute to a generation mix comprising of wind, solar and geothermal generation among others," said Eng Rwebangila.

He indicated that by the end of the next the projects will have been completed acting as a substitute of other means of power generation during day time.

Earlier the DG revealed that REA has enabled the execution of rural electrification projects through the national grid extension and off-grid in areas with renewable energy sources.

He pointed out that the implementation of the off-grid has enabled for the execution of 21 projects comprising 13 mini-hydro plants, 7 solar energy projects and a major biomass project in Mafia Island.

"The seven solar energy projects have contributed to access to electricity in 52 areas reaching 12,068 customers.

"About 725 biomass plants have been installed for individuals in the island and hard to reach areas of which through the grid would have been very costly and difficult," stated the DG.

Similarly, since the establishment of REA in 2007 access to electricity in the rural areas has increased from the previous 2 percent to 69.6 percent in the financial year 2020/21.

Eng Saidy added that "The execution of REA phase I to III has contributed to a total of 39,921 institutions being provided with electricity, citing them as education institutions (7,735), business (19,667), water pumps (3400), health facilities (4002) and 5117 religious institutions.

Outlining some of the achievements, he said access to electricity in the areas has improved social service delivery in health facilities, schools and water.

Other advantages are reducing urbanization, increasing access to information, income generating activities have grown and 39 industries responsible for the manufacturing of electricity installation equipment have been established from the previous four factories.   

On the other hand, the challenges include destruction of electricity infrastructure such as burning of poles, calling upon farmers to be cautious, while preparing their farms using fires.

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Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA

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