Helios Social Enterprise

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. It depends heavily on agriculture which accounts for about half of the GDP, and employs 80% of the population.

Tanzania has a per capita income of $440, ranking it 188 of 210 countries.  World Bank 2009.

Energy Access

The Tanzanian power system has an installed capacity of 1,192 MW of which 47% is hydro. Competing water interests and drought affect reservoir levels and thus the availability of the hydro plant. Current supply is unreliable and plans for expansion of the main power system are financially constrained.

This means that some 36m people, or 90% of the population, do not have access to electricity. The majority of these people live in rural areas, where only 2% have direct access to electricity.

To address the needs of these rural people the Government of Tanzania has established the Rural Energy Agency (REA) , to promote off-grid energy supply

Our Initial Project

Working with the REA, we developed Kilombero Mini-Grid Project to provide electricity to a population of 70,000 in the Kilombero Valley in rural Tanzania.  This was to have demonstrated a Low-Cost Design for distribution networks, as well as an innovative social enterprise business model.  However, the REA decided to extend the national grid to the proposed project area.

Village Mini-Grids

Subsequently, at the request of the REA, we are evaluating a cluster of Single-Village Mini-Grids in the Geita and Mwanza Regions of Tanzania.