TANZANIA LICENSES FIRST EVER WINDPOWER PROJECT PROPOSAL
News have come in overnight from Dar es Salaam that the first major renewable energy project, a proposal to construct a 100 MW windpower farm in the Singida region of Tanzania, has been licensed to go ahead. Wind East Africa Ltd. is now in a position to secure funding for their project and go through the various final stages of regulatory approvals and environmental and social impact assessments and reports much of which has already been prepared in order to get licensed. With that document now at hand, this is considered to be just part of the due process, before construction can begin and power can flow into the national grid by around 2014, after securing project finance from development partners like the World Bank and other global financial institutions.
Only recently did a related article here refer to the glaring absence of renewable energy sources in the countrys current power generation set up, something repeatedly pointed out by global and regional energy experts, many of whom are considering Tanzania as a country with a significant renewable energy potential sourcing solar power and wind power.
Across the border in Kenya, one such windpower farm is already operating in the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi, and being expanded as it is while two new plants of 300 and 350 MW respectively have been sanctioned in Northern Kenya, one of which is now already in the procurement and pre-construction phase.
Kenya also serves as an example for the use of geothermal energy, which is equally being dramatically expanded beyond the present station near Mt. Longonot to the Menengai Crater area outside Nakuru, which has prompted Uganda too to more seriously search for suitable locations, and Tanzania is also known to have significant geothermal potential, yet like solar and windpower not exploited at this stage at all.
Green power for a green future, that is the way to go and maybe can spare the Stieglers Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve after all, when it becomes clear what true potential renewable energy sources hold for the country in the future.