Experts discuss sustainable growth through use of renewable energy

On 20 October 2017 at 12:02

Access to safe, reliable and cost effective energy is essential in order to achieve the levels of growth defined in the national strategic documents. Energy is a critical productive sector input that can catalyze broader economic growth and contribute significantly to the achievement of the country’s ambitious socioeconomic transformation agenda.

It is in line with that philosophy that the government of Rwanda, working with Energy Private Developers (EPD) organised a two-day conference to discuss renewable energy for sustainable growth.

The Conference organised under the partnership of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), ERF and The Renewable Energy Cooperation Program (RECP) attracted more than 200 participants including international, regional as well as local players in the energy sector.

The event served as a platform for key energy players to share ideas on how to increase off grid connectivity across the country and achieve 100% universal access to electricity by 2024.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi stressed the importance of the forum in promoting renewable energy in Rwanda through the contribution of the private sector.

She reminded the attendees that there are some incentives in place to facilitate investors within the energy sector.

“This forum is crucial in attracting more investments in order to increase accessibility, affordability and availability of electricity in Rwanda as per Rwanda Government seven year program. So far RDB has signed 40 Public Private Agreements within the energy sector, proving our country’s business friendly environment in providing affordable frameworks for investors.”

The Minister of Infrastructure, James Musoni said that the government is committed to working closely with the private sector in increasing off grid connectivity in remote areas of the country and scale up the current demand.

“It is important for us as government to make sure that energy is availed for all. We are currently focused on promoting off grid power connections in the country for the simple reason that it is more affordable and sustainable. This is why we also encourage more innovative economic models as we are ready to facilitate private sector developers in Rwanda.”

The Chairman Energy Private Developers, Dr. Ivan Twagirashema talked about Rwanda’s current national strategies and the need for more private sector innovations in the country.

"There are two main objectives for this forum, one, to promote inward investments and two discuss challenges in the industry and address them with a clear road map," he said

"Thanks to the business friendly environment in Rwanda, public and private sector leaders are able to engage in dialogue and solve issues intertwined within the energy sector and ensure that products and services are more affordable to consumers," he added.

Power generation in Rwanda stands at 210.9 MW installed capacity. Hydro power accounts 48%, thermal 32%, PV 5.7% and methane to power 14.3%. As per Rwanda Energy Group Report in August 2017, Rwanda has achieved 40.5% access rate, of which on-grid access represents 29.5% while off grid represents 11%.

Rwanda looks forward to achieving universal access of electricity (100%) by 2024, with on grid connections representing 52% and off grid 48%.

Participants pose for a group photo.