The move comes as the demand for electricity in the country is growing at an average 10 per cent and 15 per cent annually.
Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Affairs in the Ministry of Energy, Engineer Innocent Luoga made the revelation on Monday, while opening the first international conference on Water, Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures in a Changing Environmnet (WISE-futures) at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST).
According to Eng Luoga, the country is also determined to increase connection levels from 32.8 per cent by 2025 to more than 75 per cent by 2033.
He however said that such developments will require significant investment in generation, transmission and distribution systems objectively to improve the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) governance and performance for sustainable socio-economic transformation and environmental protection anchored on active participation of the private sector.
“Higher learning institutions are urged to link their research and innovation activities to the industry so as to contribute to the sustained industrial development,” challenged the energy commissioner.
He also pointed that the country was committed towards development of the energy sector.
According to Engineer Luoga, the Grid installed capacity was at 1,263.60MW while the contribution of natural gas stood at 615MW.
Hydropower energy contributes 567.7MW of the country’s total energy demand whereas, oil and diesel combined was at 70.4MW, while Biomass’s contribution is 10.5MW.
“The country overall electricity access has increased up to 67.5 per cent from 40 per cent in 2015…the accessibility for urban areas is 97.3 per cent while for rural is 49.5 per cent,” he added.
For his part, Dr Hans Komakech from the WISE-Futures called on concerted efforts in addressing the water and energy crisis that faced some countries on the continent.
“Our people need to be water secure where they are able to acquire water at the right time and place…even though the climate change is having adverse effects on water availability,” he explained.
Globally, more than 1.3billion people lack access to electricity where more than 600 million people live in the Sub-Sahara Africa, which equates to 46 per cent of the worldwide living without access to electricity.
The East African region is no exceptional in this as it continues to contend with huge energy, water, and sanitation infrastructure stress.
Currently, access to energy among East African countries is only about 27 per cent with a large proportion of the population dependent on biomass for energy.