Energy Exports Funding Tanzania’s Renewable Energy Boom

National Economy

The East African country of the United Republic of Tanzania is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of Tanzania is approximately 64.42 million people[1].

In 2022, Tanzania’s economy was ranked 81st in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[2]. The country’s economy is dependent[3] on the export of gold, raw copper, dried legumes, rice, refined copper, nuts, coffee, and tobacco.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Tanzania signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4] pledging to an unconditional reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 10%, compared to business-as-usual levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, 39.9% of Tanzania had access to electricity[5]. In 2021, state-owned utility, Tanesco used renewable energy (44.7%), oil (30.8%), and natural gas (24.5%) to generate electricity[6]. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Tanzania.

Recent renewable energy projects in Tanzania include:

  • 2,115 MW Hydropower ProjectEgyptian contractors, Elsewedy Electric Ltd. and Arab Contractors are continuing work on the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, located approximately 180 miles southeast of the nation’s capital, Dodoma. The project is forecast to be commissioned by 2024.
  • 150 MW Solar Project – State-owned utility, Tanesco is continuing work on the Kishapu solar project at a site approximately 200 miles northwest of Dodoma. The project is forecast to be completed by 2024.
  • 8 MW Hydropower Project – Tanesco is continuing work on the Malagarasi hydroelectric power station in the western region of the country. The project is forecast to be completed by year-end 2026.
  • 50 MW Solar Project –S. company, Astra Energy is continuing work on the Zanzibar Clean and Renewable Energy Park project on Unguja Island, the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. and the seat of Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous government. Zanzibar is a partly self-governing state in Tanzania.
  • 4 MW Wind Project – In June 2020, German engineering firm, Enercon commissioned Tanzania’s first wind project, which is located in the southern region of the country.


Natural gas was first discovered in Tanzania[7] in 1974, however the discovery was not developed until 2004. Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy estimates the nation’s hydrocarbon resources to be over 57.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

 In 2021, natural gas exports generated U.S. $49.4 Million in revenue for Tanzania[8]. In 2021, Tanzania was the 79th largest natural gas exporting country[9] in the world.

Although Tanzania exports national gas, the nation imports refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2020, Tanzania spent[10] U.S. $2.41 Billion for imported refined petroleum.

Tanzania has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, onshore wind, solar, offshore wind, and biomass. Developing the nation’s renewable resources could provide green, low-cost electricity to everyone in this beautiful country. Natural gas exports are now funding Tanzania’s renewable energy boom.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues and topics.


[1] Tanzania Population (2023) –  April 7, 2023;

[2] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[3] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Tanzania

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population)  – Tanzania

[6] Our World In Data, Tanzania: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Natural Gas Development in Tanzania – Challenges and Opportunities, December 2012

[8] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Tanzania

[9] Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[10] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Tanzania

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