Increasing rural electrification through the Devergy solar PV nano grid system in Tanzania
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Tanzania is facing energy problems throughout the entire country, but in rural areas where the majority of the population lives, the energy problems are extreme. Many solutions are being researched, specifically renewable forms of energy such as solar, biomass, and wind energy. As a means of allowing inaccessible populations, to gain access to energy. SHS have been in Tanzania for over 40 years and still the problem of rural electrification exists. This paper describes a new approach to solving an old problem. It analyzes the benefits and the drawbacks of the Devergy Nano Grid Solar Approach, in Melela, Tanzania. Also, it examines the external factors that create barriers for the solar sector and the Devergy the solar energy company, such as a lack of a renewable energy policy, purchasing power of the rural population, solar markets, and the current energy statues in the country. This paper is based on both qualitative and quantitative data, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with consumers, suppliers, and energy institutions, and 80 household surveys within Melela, Mororgoro and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In the paper it is shows the Devergy Solar Approach in comparison with solar home systems (SHS). It was found that Devergy as a shared Nano grid system, was able to decrease transaction costs of solar to a level that allows for more accessibility than SHS in rural areas. Devergy operates as a small energy company that provides a solar resource, maintains it and through that, eliminates various barriers stopping many rural villagers from gaining access to electricity. With this new approach, Devergy focuses on a niche in the renewable solar sector, which is to provide solar energy that is cheaper and more easily accessible. Also, the issue of not having a renewable energy policy is addressed within this paper, in terms of its impact on the development of the sector.