Tanzania announces One Million Solar Homes initiative

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The Tanzanian national government has announced its One Million Solar Homes initiative aimed at providing a million Tanzanian homes with access to reliable solar electricity by the end of 2017.

The project is expected to provide solar electricity for 10% of the nation’s population and generate more than 15,000 solar industry jobs. Currently, 86% of Tanzanians depend on kerosene and candles for light.

According to Tanzania-based Off Grid Electric Ltd., which is implementing the One Million Solar Homes initiative, the plan sets a model for other nations working towards the Power Africa initiative announced by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013 to double the number of people with access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Known in Tanzania as M-Power, Off Grid is leveraging the leasing model of their equity investor and the largest U.S. solar provider, SolarCity, to provide affordable solar power in developing markets. Monthly payments will start at $0.20 per day, according to the company.

“We know Tanzanians will flourish with access to clean and reliable light and electricity access,” said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. “In partnership with Off Grid Electric, our country can lead the way toward universal energy access by 2030.”

The initiative will leverage development finance and private capital to bring more than $100 million in investment into Tanzania.

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