Challenges face small scale industries in adoption of solar energy in Tanzania: Case study in Mbeya City

The study examined the challenges faces small scale industries in adoption of solar energy sources in Tanzania: The specific objective was to assess the cost of solar appliances towards adoption of solar energy, to assess the capacity of solar appliances towards adoption of solar energy and third objective was to assess the SSI’s awareness of solar technology towards adoption of solar energy. The study also used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect and analyze data; both primary and secondary data were used under this study.

The primary data was obtained from a sample of 80 respondents through questionnaires, observation checklist and Focus Group Discussion. Also, secondary data was obtained through documentary review whereby reports, journals, thesis and dissertations documents based on solar power were reviewed. The qualitative data obtained under this study was analyzed through content analysis and the quantitative data analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and interpreted by content analysis to give the general picture of the study.

The results findings revealed that, high percentage of entrepreneurs in small scale industries are capable to pay the cost of solar appliances sold in the market for operating their industrial activities but not comfortable with the payment system. As there are fewer investors of solar appliances which can power small scale industries, the mode of payment for big appliances is cash based and many entrepreneurs prefer paying by installment.

Also, on the case of capacity of solar appliances, the results revealed that most of the appliances available have low capacity compare to the needs of the entrepreneurs in small scale industry. As the small-scale industries need more powerful batteries and appliances to power their extracting and milling. Last but least the results revealed that the awareness level of solar technology to small scale industries entrepreneurs is still very low to impact the informative decision making of the adoption of using solar energy for industrial activities.

Also, the study recommends that more investment should be made in the renewable energy sector including solar energy in particular. That will increase the competition on the service provided and reduce the price of the appliances and solar systems which can be used by small scale industries. This will help the country to run into industrial economy in 2025.

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