The no nonsense Tanzanian President, Hon Dr John Magufuli recently split his Energy and Minerals Ministry in two resulting in the appointment of a new minister for Minerals and Energy respectively. This comes after an impasse of 5 months after he fired the previous minister. The move is aimed at tightening control over natural resources in Tanzanian to ensure that the country benefits from its natural wealth.
The President fired the previous minister, Sospeter Muhongo, earlier this year after an investigation found that exports by mining companies had been understated. Several senior officials resigned or were fired after allegations of impropriety in Tanzania’s mining sector.
The shake up means that Dr Medard Kalemani has been promoted from Deputy Energy and Minerals Minister to lead the new energy ministry. The 41 year old has worked for the ministry for more than a decade, previously as its legal affairs director. It is widely speculated that the young minister will review the 2016 Updated Power Systems Master Plan to include a more balanced mix of technologies for power generation.
Tanzania is arguably the best suited country for the production of renewable power in Africa. It has an abundance of vast vacant lands. The solar irradiation and wind strength levels will ensure some of the highest levels of renewable energy production on the continent. Battery technology now takes care of base load concerns.
The current five year plan only allocates 100 Megawatts of power production to solar technology and 200 Megawatts to wind. This makes up only 5% of the planned total installed generation capacity of 5,011 MW. It is also unknown if the allocated 100 MW for solar power forms part of TANESCO’s small scale program. The balance of the generation mix is made up of Gas: 50%, Coal: 25% and Hydro: 20%.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal