Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in Tanzania and Mozambique – grid extension, off-grid and renewable energy sources
Paper in proceedings, 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 RE-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. It is part of a larger research effort, undertaken in collaboration between Swedish and African researchers from natural, engineering and social sciences, aiming at an interdisciplinary assessment of the potential for an enhanced utilization of available renewable sources in off-grid solutions. By qualitative methodology, data was collected in semi-structured stakeholder interviews carried out with ten national level energy sector actors. Findings illustrate countryspecific institutional, financial and poverty-related drivers and barriers to grid and off-grid electrification, as perceived by different energy sector stakeholders.
Drivers and Barriers