Poverty & Inequality

Mobilizing Social Assets for Productive Use of Renewable Energy in Rural Tanzania

  • CPS

Project Summary

The United Republic of Tanzania has one of the lowest access to electrification rates in the world at an estimated 24%. Yet if one speaks exclusively of energy access in rural areas, the rate plummets to 7%. Numerous studies identify strong linkages between energy access, economic development, human development and poverty reduction. Some debate has arisen over whether the focus of addressing energy poverty ought to be an expansion of the Productive Use of Rural Electrification program, as opposed to electrification for public services like schools, health clinics and residential use. In the context of this study we follow the Global Environment Facility and the Food and Agricultural Organization in their definition that: "In the context of providing modern energy services in rural areas, a productive use of energy is one that involves the application of energy derived mainly from renewable resources to create goods and/or services either directly or indirectly for the production of income or value." Hence, if energy poverty is to be addressed in rural Tanzania, it will have to be done through a strategy of building mini-grids designed for connection to the national grid in the future.


  • Kelly M. Askew

Project Period

2018-09-01 - 2020-08-31