Off-Grid Electric’s $25 million investment in rural Tanzanian solar electrification project is in sync with TANESCO’s 2033 electrification plan
Due to the falling costs of global solar kits, renewable solar solutions have become easier to access. Following this, Off-Grid Electric Tanzania Limited which is interested in setting up solar solutions around rural East Africa, is set to invest $25 million in a micro-solar leasing platform in the rural East Africa, where most homes are currently not connected to the national electricity grid.
When the connection is made, residents will be able to purchase energy in minute amounts of M-Power, the micro-leasing model. The clients will send mobile payments to receive a code which is entered into a meter, which provides access to energy.
Off-Grid boasts of next-generation lithium batteries, hyper-efficient appliances and clever electronics, which have paved ways for the possibility of autonomous solar home systems. According to their website, they provide clean energy with 25 times more light and additional energy appliances like TVs and radios. Also, they have flexible payment plans, which allow customers pay via mobile money services like M-Pesa.
By 2017, the firm will have provided solar lighting kits to one million homes and will then expand their business into Rwanda, still an extension of their East Africa electrification project. The firm has recorded successes in its electrification project as it has installed more than 10,000 solar kits in homes and business premises. In a statement mirroring the firm’s success, Off-Grid’s chief executive, Xavier Helgesen says that the firm’s progress shows global solar inclusion is possible.
“The success of our prepaid leasing model in Tanzania has global implications and demonstrates that universal energy access is achievable”, said Helgesen.
However, the $25 million was raised by several outfits headlined by San Francisco based DBL Partners, which was established in 2015 from the combination of DBL investors and Cleantech Practice of Technology Partners. They nurture companies in the areas of clean technology, Information Technology, Sustainable Products and Services, and Healthcare.
Tanzanian policies are in line with this move by Off-Grid Tanzania Electric Limited. In a 2015 report from Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) held in Germany, in the short term period from 2015 to 2020, power generation projects in natural gas, wind and solar will have been implemented which will be added to the national grid system.
The report projects favorable power inclusion for all parts of Tanzania by 2033. Below is a map in that regard.