The government is seeking investors who will advance production and supply of wind and solar power by tendering system.
The investor should be competitive in both power projects with a good and reliable technology to accelerate supply.
Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (Ewura) Director of Electricity Anastas Mbawala told The Guardian in an exclusive interview over the weekend during the second Sub-Saharan Africa Solar Summit 2015 that the government welcomes both foreign and local companies to bid for the projects.
He said among other things the companies will be responsible to produce electricity and to connect regions to the grid.
“The companies shall sell power to Tanzania National Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) to be supplied to the public,” he clarified.
Mbalawa added that the main reason for calling out firms is to reduce the costs of investment (avoided costs) in solar and wind power plants which the government could incur to produce the power.
“But also, we have decided to do so in order to get a competitive firm with friendly prices and modern technology that the government can afford,” he said.
“Currently, the demand for electricity is very high compared to the sources of electricity available,” he explained, adding that the government itself cannot handle the cost of implementing both power projects across the country.
He said welcoming investors would simplify the task.
He went on to say: “Several regions including Kagera, Rukwa, Ruvuma and Mtwara have not yet connected to national grid so we will direct the investment projects to those regions.”
Under the second generation of Solar Power Project framework, the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tarrif (REFIT) for wind and solar will be determined accordingly due to the nature of investment, while for Biomass and Hydropower projects will remain the same, he said.
He further pointed out that investment in solar and wind power project would help the government to have reliable power supply and double collection of taxes.
Mbalawa said that having investors would also be an advantage to Tanesco as they will minimise costs of supplying the power unlike the present situation whereby Tanesco is required to produce on their own.
For his part, Head of Division, Chief Scientist Advisor, Energy and Climate at the University of Southampton Prof Abubakar Bahaj said: “We are planning to talk with Rural Energy Agency (REA) to discuss terms of technical support in design and consolidating concept on energy supply to run the project in rural communities.
“We need to find real business module for which REA and private sectors shall partner to enhance the production and supply of power to rural people,” he said.
“The partnership will simplify cost sharing and enable rural electricity become more affordable. Citing that, in other countries, rural electricity is supplied by the government partnering with business companies for serving the cost.