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. 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.,
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.,, 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. 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., 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.
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.