Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in rural Tanzania and Mozambique – interaction between stakeholders
Conference contribution, 2011

Mozambique and Tanzania are countries with very low rural electrification rates – far below 5 % percent of the rural population use electricity. The pace of rural grid electrification is slow and for most remote areas access to the national electricity grids will not occur within a foreseeable future. Off-grid (decentralized) electricity grids are seen as a complement and fore-runner to the national grid, making electricity available many years in advance and creating demand and a customer base. Most off-grid systems are supplied by diesel generators which entail unreliable and costly electricity. Alternative off-grid energy sources exist in the region, such as biofuels, wind, micro-hydro and solar PV; but there are significant barriers to adoption, adaptation and diffusion of such renewable energy-based technologies. In this study, the specific drivers and barriers for rural electrification and off-grid solutions in both countries are explored across a stakeholder spectrum. By qualitative methodology, data was collected in semi-structured interviews carried out with energy sector stakeholders from national to local level; and in visits to off-grid projects in Tanzania and Mozambique during eight weeks in 2010. Findings illustrate country-specific institutional, financial and poverty-related drivers and barriers to grid and off-grid electrification, as perceived by different energy sector stakeholders. The interaction between national and local stakeholders is described and how they perceive the potential for renewable energy sources; it is further analyzed whether different perspectives and understandings may create conflicts or barriers to successful implementation and management. In both countries the top-down structure and low institutional quality of the energy sectors create financial and political barriers for local actors and non-governmental organizations. However, although renewable energy sources are of limited technical capacity and face economical difficulties, their introduction work as a driver for increased demand and social development, improving the customer base for future grid extension.

Off-grid Systems

Renewable Energy

Africa

Rural Electrification

Drivers and Barriers

Author

Helene Ahlborg

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Linus Hammar

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Working paper: NESS 2011. Power landscapes – histories and futures. Theme: The power of power. June 14-16, 2011. Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Environmental Sciences

Areas of Advance

Energy

More information

Created

10/8/2017