Tanzania is planning to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and make more use of its renewable energy resources with the help of $50 million of funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The AfDB’s Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has endorsed an investment plan by Tanzania to scale up the development of renewable energy resources and boost rural electrification.

The plan will receive $50 million from the CIF’s SREP programme, which is designed to help low-income countries scale up renewable energy deployment, as well as funds from the AfDB, World Bank and private sources.

According to AfDB, the plan aims to drive small-scale solar installations in ten rural districts as well as the construction of 100 MW of geothermal capacity. An additional $1.7 million has also been approved by the AfDB for project preparation grants.

The geothermal element of the plan will receive $25 million from the SREP fund and aims to "establish an enabling environment for large-scale geothermal development" that will attract private sector investment and foster public-private partnerships, says AfDB.

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest countries but the AfDB expects the SREP programme to have a "transformative" effect both in terms of energy poverty reduction and increasing energy security.

By 2020, AfDB expects that per capita electricity use in Tanzania will increase from 78 kWh to 350 kWh. Renewable energy output in the country will increase from 370 GWh/year to 2000 GWh/year when the geothermal energy plants come on-line.