According to Matthew Matimbwi, Executive Secretary of Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), too little is being done to grow the demand side in terms of how mini-grids can influence consumer behaviour.

“We have to support end-users with finance to be able to run productive users’ activities. In this way, the demand will increase and users will be able to generate income and at the same time the investor will be able to get returns from the project,” says Matimbwi.

He adds that in this way, the industry will realise growth. “We are generating and supplying energy for the poor. These poor people – we have to enable them to be able to use the supplied electricity.”

Commenting on YouTube, Asanji Nelson said he agrees with Matimbwi, since considering that “I am currently running a Rural Solar Project in Cameroon and the tendency is to see a locality where a small solar farm with a mini-grid is being constructed and the daily consumption is about 18kWh, while the daily production is 98kWh.”

Asanji adds: “It’s absolutely necessary that the demand side be taken into consideration before the implementation of any such project; otherwise, the rural household would be simply contented with lighting, watching a TV, listening some music or charging the phone. Yet there are several income-generating activities that can be developed in the area.”

Watch the full interview above to listen to Matimbwi’s insight into the market.

For more video content click here.