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Hydro Slump forces reliance on Gas Power

Hydro power generation has slumped in Tanzania as a prolonged drought reduced water levels in rivers and reservoirs, forcing the nation to increase its reliance on gas-fired electricity plants.

Combined output from the East African nation’s four hydro power plants fell 86% to 34 megawatts, state utility Tanzania Electric Supply Co., or Tanesco, said on Monday. About 185 megawatts will be added from gas before the end of the year, it said.

Countries in the eastern and Horn of Africa region have suffered the worst drought in decades, leaving millions of people in need of food aid and hitting economies as the cost of living jumps. Tanzania’s economy, which the International Monetary Fund expects to slow this year, faces blackouts across the country if the rain’s fail to arrive.

Hydroelectric power accounts for 34% of Tanzania’s energy mix, a portion that’s set to jump when the government commissions a 2,115-megawatt plant, probably in 2024. Currently, about 61% of the nation’s 1,700 megawatts installed capacity comes from natural gas plants.

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