IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a web portal to speed the development of mini-grids in Tanzania helping the country boost its energy production and increase access to electricity through renewable sources such as solar and hydro.
The portal, found at http://www.minigrids.go.tz/, provides licensing, financing, regulatory, and other information and support to small, renewable power producers in Tanzania who want to sell electricity to consumers, especially to the millions in the country not connected to the main grid.
Establishing the online portal is the latest step in a $5 million program IFC launched in 2015 to help Tanzania implement affordable and reliable renewable energy solutions. IFC's mini-grid program is being implemented in partnership with the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program of the Climate Investment Funds.
IFC's Regional Lead for Energy & Resource Efficiency advisory services, Dan Shepherd, said, “The portal is part of IFC's wider strategy in Tanzania to increase access to energy, especially to low-income communities that are not connected to the main grid. IFC is at the forefront of designing and implementing new solutions to help increase access to energy in Africa.”
Mini-grids are technically and commercially viable for high-density populations that live outside the reach of the national electricity grid. Tanzania's government estimates that about half of the country's rural population could be served by off-grid options in a cost-effective manner, and that mini-grids could benefit 9.1 million people in the country.
The online portal contains information from licensing (which covers the procedures for obtaining the various permits required to develop and operate a mini-grid in Tanzania), to financing, and a tool that maps villages in Tanzania, and provides data on their populations and current electrification status. The portal is being hosted by the Tanzania Rural Energy Agency.