Tanzania: Renewable Energy Crucial to Industrial Development

THERE is a global campaign for use of environmentally-friendly sources of energy - renewable energy - to replace destructive sources of energy and cut down greenhouse gases that cause the greenhouse effect and global warming.

The effects of climate change and global warming are seen in various parts of the world, including Tanzania, and such effects have inordinate human and environmental costs, we as a nation shouldn't entertain.

On the other hand, environmentally- friendly sources of energy will improve our q uality of life and increase energy efficiency. Despite all this, renewable energy consumption is still low compared to its efficiency.

According to the Renewables 2017 Global Status Report, renewables contributed only 19.3 per cent to humans' global energy consumption and 24.5 per cent to their generation of electricity in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In Tanzania, the government and environmentalists have been raising public awareness on the use of renewable energy sources after seeing how destructive other sources of energy are to human health and to the environment.

The National Environment Management Council (NEMC), in particular, is promoting the use of renewable energy to replace the use of charcoal, firewood and paraffin, which are commonly used in many parts of the country.

According to Acting H ead of Environmental Management in the Ministry of Energy Innocent Mak omba, Tanzania has the potential to produce up to 4.7GW from renewable energy.

However, he says, currently, the country produces about 500MW and 800MW from hydropower and natural gas, respectively. Not only this, starting from next year, the government will start bulk importation of liq uefied petroleum gas (LP G) as the Bulk Procurement Agency will be importing 16,500 metric tonnes of LP G per month.

By June last year, annual demand rose to 120,000 metric tonnes compared to 20,000 metric tonnes in 2010. This is according to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura).

LPG is a clean burning fuel, which is low carbon, emits virtually no black carbon and does not spill. Its use improves air q uality, protects the environment and does not pose ground or water pollution hazards. All this is to k eep abreast of energy consumption demand in both urban and rural areas.

As Tanzania envisions becoming an industrial and middle-income economy by 2025, we have to invest more in renewable energy sources for industrial development.

This is so because energy efficiency is for achieving energy goals, such as improved energy security, energy access, reduced air pollution and fuel poverty, employment growth and industrial competitiveness.

Sustainable Development Goal 7 focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. In light of this, it is projected that growth in consumption of coal and oil could end by 2020 due to an increase in the use of renewable sources.

So, Tanzania must increase public awareness and show the inevitability of renewables for energy efficiency, which is ideal for both present and future generations.

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