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Tanzania Sectors

What is Tanzaniaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Power sector in 2030

Tanzania mostly relies on fossil fuels (about 62%, mostly natural gas and oil) in its power sector, with less than 36% of its power produced from renewable energy sources.3 The country’s National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) and Energy Policy have set targets for an increase of renewables by up to 25% the current capacity by 2026.3,7

1.5°C compatible pathways indicate a sharp increase in renewables from 34% of the power mix in 2019 to 90-99% by 2030. This could drive emissions reductions in the highly carbon intensive power sector from 400 gCO₂/kWh to 0-50 gCO₂/kWh by 2030. In contrast, Tanzania plans to expand its natural gas infrastructure with reserves estimated at 53.28 trillion cf and only less than 1% of this has so far been exploited.2,3,8 Such plans increase the risk for the country to be locked in a carbon intensive pathway with stranded assets as fossil gas needs already be phased out in the coming decade.

In its 2019 voluntary report on SDGs Tanzania reported that just 29% of households in Tanzania have electricity.10 This implies that there is an increased need to increase generation and supply of electricity but these have to come from renewable sources if a reduction in carbon intensity is to be achieved.

Towards a fully decarbonised power sector

The power sector could achieve full decarbonisation by 2037 at the latest and with a gas phase-out by 2038. Achieving this will require discontinuing plans to expand the country’s fossil fuel resources, decommissioning of thermal plants and implementation of its renewable energy initiatives as outlined in the NCCRS and FYDP.4,7 Enhanced targets for implementation in the power sector will be important especially since Tanzania’s power sector plan envision increased natural gas and coal investments.4

Pathways assessed in our analysis indicate that Tanzania could face the risk of having to rely on costly CDR approaches, not yet available at scale, in the power sector to comply with 1.5°C compatible pathways if a fossil-fuel phase-out is not pursued. Higher share of renewables in the power mix combined with off-grid renewable solutions such as solar could reduce reliance on these technologies.

1 United Republic of Tanzania. Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). (Vice President’s Office, Union and Environment, 2021).

2 United Republic of Tanzania. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). (2015).

3 Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority. Electricity Infrastructure. (2021).

4 United Republic of Tanzania (URT). National Climate Change Response Strategy (2021-2026). (2021).

5 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), T. National Climate Change Statistics Report. (2019).

6 IEA. Tanzania Country Profile. Key Energy Statistics.(2020).

7 United Republic of Tanzania. National Five Year Development Plan 2016/17-2020/21: Nurturing Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Human Development. (2016).

8 United Republic of Tanzania. National Energy Policy. (Ministry of Energy and Minerals, 2015).

9 Irene Garcia, Anna Leidreiter, Joachim Fünfgelt, Sixbert Mwanga & Msololo Onditi. Policy Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy and Poverty Eradication in Tanzania. (2017).

10 United Republic of Tanzania. Voluntary National Review (VNR) 2019. (2019).

11 IRENA. Innovation Landscape Brief:Pay-as-you-go models. (2020).

12 See assumptions here:

13 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

Tanzaniaʼs power mix

terawatt-hour per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Tanzaniaʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • 100%RE
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Tanzania

Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
0 to 50
−50 to −30
2030 to 2037
Relative to reference year in %
−99 to −88%
−113 to −107%
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
Share of unabated gas
0 to 10
2030 to 2038
Share of renewable energy
90 to 99
Share of unabated fossil fuel
1 to 10


Demand shifting towards the power sector

The 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here tend to show a strong increase in power generation and installed capacities across time. This is because end-use sectors (such as transport, buildings or industry) are increasingly electrified under 1.5°C compatible pathways, shifting energy demand to the power sector. Globally, the “high energy demand” pathway entails a particularly high degree of renewable energy-based electrification across the various sectors, and sees a considerable increase in renewable energy capacities over time. See the power section for capacities deployment under the various models.

Tanzaniaʼs renewable electricity investments

Billion USD / yr


Yearly investment requirements in renewable energy

Across the set of 1.5°C pathways that we have analysed, annual investments in renewable energy excluding BECCS increase in Tanzania to be on the order of USD 0.3 to 2.1 billion by 2030 and 0.6 to 8 billion by 2040 depending on the scenario considered. The ‘high energy demand, low CDR reliance’ pathway shows a particularly high increase in renewable capacity investments, which could be driven by an increase of electrification of end-use sectors, growing energy demand, and expansion of electricity access. Other modelled pathways have relatively lower investments in renewables and rely to varying degrees on other technologies and measures such as energy efficiency and negative emissions technologies, of which the latter can require high up-front investments.