An energy transition is required in Tanzania. Household energy needs are currently largely met by unsustainable wood fuel resources and many households experience energy poverty. The traditional strategies to introduce modern energy are slow and unable to reach households in inaccessible and poor areas.
To make an energy transition and to meet the energy demand in Tanzania in a sustainable way solar PV (photovoltaic), improved cook stoves (ICS) and biogas technologies were selected based on the appropriateness of the technologies in rural Tanzania and their sector development.
Moreover this study shows that sustainable energy provision requires a sector of independent enterprises that own the capacity to provide these appropriate energy technologies. Cluster strategies promote the development of groups of such enterprises. The institutional setting for such cluster strategies was found to rely on civil society organizations, mainly because the representation of the rural energy topic on the local level by district governments and public agencies is virtually absent.
Based on the research in Tanzania inceptive cluster strategies are reported and five types of cluster promotion are categorised. The research results point to cluster promotion through existing value chains as currently the most suitable strategy for achieving this goal. In rural Tanzania it makes economic sense to use the limited infrastructure to integrate energy provision and appropriate energy enterprises with existing business activities, such as diary and Jatropha production. The crux is to create the right institutional setting to develop the mutual benefits of sustainable energy provision for households and enterprises.