In 2007, Norsk Vind Energi was involved as a wind power consultant, via Norplan, in Tanzania. In this capacity we were introduced to the wind energy project in Makambako. This wind farm was originally identified and established by the local company Sino Tan Renewable Energy. However, due to their wish to work with an experienced international partner, Norsk Vind Energi was invited to join the project. In 2008 a Joint Venture company was established.
“Our commitment at the Makambako wind farm is grounded in the ambition of assisting Tanzania, through the utilisation of its own wind energy potential, in making the transition from fossil energy to electrical production based on renewable energy supplies”. Tanzania has a sizable potential for renewable wind power, and a relatively robust electrical infrastructure. As a result, the circumstances are ripe for the development of wind power production. The combination of renewable energy through the use of wind and water is optimal for Tanzania. This is because the wind blows the hardest during dry seasons, and the water reservoirs are at their fullest during the time of year when wind speeds are at their lowest.
Tanzania has passed political climate goals stating that they aim to turn energy consumption from the current 60 per cent fossil vs. 40 per cent renewable, to a 50/50 per cent share by 2020. Makambako Wind Farm has been estimated to have a potential capacity of 100MW, and will contribute to meeting the governments climate goals. The wind park could potentially, based upon statistics from 2014, produce twelve per cent of Tanzania’s total energy production, covering the electrical consumption of around one million Tanzanian households. However, due to the development of new industries, increasing the overall national energy consumption by around 50MW per year, the country is still facing huge energy challenges. Only 14 per cent of the Tanzanian population has access to electricity. The access to electricity is known to be crucial for the development of any society, and in countries experiencing heavy industry growth it is essential that this energy comes from renewable power sources. National and local advantages would include increased stability of energy access for everyone, as well as maintaining a sustainable industrial, as well as economic, growth.
The execution of the project has certainly met its fair share of challenges, especially with regard to geographical distances, and cultural differences. However, the energy sector’s systems in Tanzania is relatively lucid, and their systems are comparable to what we experience here in Norway. It is both a strength and advantage to involve local partners during the development and execution of overseas projects. Norsk Vind Energi work within the sustainable and socially responsible policies found in the United Nations Global Compact. For many decades, Tanzania has been a central business partner of Norway on the African continent. Furthermore, Africa is defined as a primary commitment area for both Norway’s, and the UN’s, climate panels “renewable energy initiative” and general climate strategy.
A more detailed article on the Makambako-project is found in the brochure “Afrika – Fra mulighet til marked” (Norwegian only. Published by NHO, Innovasjon Norge and the UN’s development program; UNDP February 2010).