25 April 2014

Rwanda: Local Investors Should Join the Energy Bonanza

Members of Parliament this past week have been grappling with a nut cracker of a problem: reducing the energy bill. It would have been a walk in the park if it all depended on the water and energy utility, EWSA, but that is not the case.

The lawmakers found it unacceptable that the country was spending Rwf260 million everyday to run diesel powered power plants in the city and that the practice had been going on for the last 10 years.

This high cost is translated into high energy bills for consumers and thereafter has a domino effect on all spheres of life.

The government has prioritised the energy sector and has been doing all it can to attract investors into the sector because energy shortage is the bane for any ambitious development plans.

That is why alternative energy has been high on the government's agenda. The flagship has been the methane gas project in Lake Kivu that seems to be taking long to deliver on its promises despite encouraging results at the beginning.

The energy sector will always hit obstacles if its management and exploitation is left exclusively in the hands of state corporations; it is a very heavy burden that needs the intervention of the wider public.

Many local investors need to learn to think outside the box and invest in alternative energy sector that is highly underexploited. That is the only lifeline the public will ever get to see the energy costs knocked down.

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