PV for 70,000 Tanzanian households

The World Bank and African Development Bank (ADB) have revealed details of a solar PV scheme to benefit 70,000 households in rural Tanzania.

The ADB and its Climate Investment Fund (CIF) recently approved an investment plan to drive small-scale solar installations in 10 rural districts of the country as well as encouraging 100 MW of geothermal capacity.

Half of the investment plan is concerned with the Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification (RERE) scheme, which will benefit from US$25 million of funding from the ADB/CIF’s Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program for low-income countries (SREP), administered by the World Bank.

Dick Hosier, senior energy specialist at the World Bank, told pv magazine the SREP funding is expected to be bolstered by a $50 million International Development Association (IDA) credit from the World Bank’s soft credit arm for the world’s poorest countries, with the hope the solar scheme will lever a further $100 million from private sector investors, development partners and Tanzanian banks.

Under the RERE scheme, bidders compete to supply PV power to public institutions, with the resulting installations expected to drive take-up of PV lanterns, small plug-and-play systems and domestic systems of up to 100 Wp in the districts concerned.

Although the scheme is largely aimed at off-grid solar in the remote, as yet unidentified, districts, mini-grids and small scale projects are also included with one developer already near completion of a 5 MW plant in Kagoma in western Tanzania.

Hosier added the exact locations to benefit from the RERE scheme will be identified as project preparations continue until next September, with the scheme effective in early 2015.

The other half of the Tanzania imvestment plan will see $25 million of SREP funding ploughed into geothermal development and the overall plan has $1.7 million allocated for project preparation costs.