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ENERGY: Rwanda plans to provide electricity to all its households before 2024

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As part of its goal of transforming the country into a middle-income economy, Rwanda wants to see by 2024 all of its citizens’ households fully connected to the national electricity grid. To realize this ambitious plan, 850 million dollars, or 800 billion Rwandan francs, will be needed.

This announcement was recently made by Ron Weiss, the General Manager of REG (Rwanda Energy Group) as he announced the new electricity cost tariffs revised upwards compared to the prices which had been fixed in August 2019.

About half of Rwandans currently have access to electricity. In order to position Rwanda as a service hub for East and Central Africa, the Rwandan government has entered into a large number of power purchase agreements with independent power producers to increase production capacity.

“We are asked to connect a total of 2.4 million households by 2024,” said Weiss, adding that at the same time seeing the investors who are orienting themselves in the energy production sector, this target should be 100% achieved by 2024.

This production and supply of electricity will have to be done at a rate of 52% through the extension of the network and 48% through off-grid technologies. It also aims to improve the power grid, including reducing system losses and improving reliability, as well as connecting with neighboring countries in importing and exporting electricity across borders.

Several micro-hydros, off-grid solar and mini-grid companies based or owned in the United States are active there.

In 2018, a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance ranked Rwanda as the fifth most attractive emerging market for investments in clean energy. The national electrification rate increased from 10 to 40% between 2010 and 2017. The study indicates that in 2017, “more than 185,000 solar home systems and nearly 300,000 solar lamps had been installed across the country.  Rwanda invested $ 350 million in the energy sector in 2016, compared to less than $ 50 million in 2007.

In order to transform the country into an intermediate economy, Rwanda therefore wants to establish its industrial sector with a sufficient energy, and projects in progress are promising.

KAGAHE Jean Louis

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