Hivos website

Energy Change Lab

  • Energy Change Lab


    To build an energy system that is sustainable and people-centered by connecting citizens (consumers, producers, sellers) with pioneers and changemakers to develop prototypes for sector change, gather evidence and share ideas.


    Tanzania and globally


    Tanzania’s energy sector is in transition, with promising developments in energy financing, policy, and entrepreneurship. But investments in the grid and in fossil fuels dwarf efforts to provide energy in remote areas and scale-up decentralized models. Hivos wants to ensure this transition will deliver reliable renewable energy, new job and enterprise opportunities, and sound investment of gas revenues for the public good without threatening the environment. For this greener, people-centered energy system, we need skilled leaders, new ideas, and progressive partnerships between people and sectors.


    The Hivos and IIED Energy Change Lab started in 2015. The lab is an open space, hub or platform where local stakeholders in and outside the energy sector convene to find ways to increase accountability and job creation in the energy sector, and broaden decentralized energy distribution. This involves creative thinking and prototyping around innovative approaches and business models. In addition, learning and leadership programs for young people help them capitalize on the energy transition’s opportunities, and the Lab conducts research to build evidence and support its prototyping work. It shares these findings to benefit sector-wide learning and stimulate dialogue in energy forums in Tanzania and globally.

    Results so far

    The Lab has run successful leadership and problem-solving workshops called ‘Energy Safaris’ in which some 70 young Tanzanians participated. From a handful of proposals coming out of the Energy Safari, one has turned into a successful company and another is currently underway. In Dar es Salaam, the Lab successfully piloted the Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI). It displays live voltage supply levels in different neighborhoods, giving citizens oversight in order to improve feedback mechanisms between energy providers and consumers. In rural areas, the Lab is working with mini-grid companies, government, financing institutions and CSOs to practical guidelines for productive uses of energy (PUE) in recently connected villages.

    Period and budget

    2016-2020, € 800.000


    The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED, founding partner), Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (donor), Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (donor), World Resources Institute (donor), International Growth Institute, Tanzanian Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), Ensol Tanzania Ltd., Buni Innovation Hub, Rafiki Power, Power Corner, MicroEnergy International