AfDB, British High Commission Host Workshop on Geothermal Development in Tanzania

AfDB14 March 2013: The Government of Tanzania has hosted a workshop to identify pathways to an effective legal and regulatory framework to support the development of geothermal energy in the country. The workshop, co-organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and British High Commission, convened government officials, private developers, geothermal resource survey specialists, development partners, lawyers and civil society representatives from 13-14 March 2013 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

In his opening remarks, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Stephen Masele, underscored the need for a framework to support geothermal development, noting that the lack of a dedicated framework has forced the Government to rely on the Mining Act to license private developers in the country.

AfDB Resident Representative Tonia Kandiero highlighted the Bank's commitment to geothermal development, noting its preparation of a major geothermal development support program with funding from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Program for Scaling up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP).

The workshop resulted in a number of ideas for an effective geothermal framework related to capacity building, legal and regulatory issues, and institutional design. Discussions on capacity building emphasized the need to strengthen expertise in both the public and private sectors, in particular for geothermal resource development, planning, power development, project finance, and project management and social and environment safeguards.

In terms of the legal and regulatory framework, participants recommended the Government make geothermal energy a development priority in its updated Energy Policy and new Renewable Energy Policy. They also recommended the Government prepare a Geothermal Act and associated regulations to guide development and attract private investments.

On institutional design, participants said that a Geothermal Division must be created under Tanzania's Department of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, and further called for a clear distribution of roles and responsibilities among the public and private sectors throughout the geothermal development chain.

AfDB is the implementing agency for CIF, which provided support for the workshop. [AfDB Press Release] [IISD RS story on CIF's SREP] [Climate Investment Funds website]