The New Times (Kigali)

18 May 2014

Rwanda: Focus On Solar Energy a Step in the Right Direction

Plans by the government and private investors to build a new plant in Kayonza District, Eastern Province, to produce 10 megawatts of electricity from solar power in the next 21 months are in the right direction.

While the agreements to build the plant were signed on Thursday this week between the government and the investors, the move fits well in the global wish to see clean energy as a prerequisite for sustainable development.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)'s declaration of 2014-2024 highlights the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

The declaration also supported the idea of universal access to modern energy services by doubling both the improvement rate of efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy production by 2030.

The Kayonza plant is the second large-scale solar plant after another 8.5 megawatt which is under construction in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province, a joint investment of Dutch Scatec Solar and Norwegian Gigawatt Global Coöperatief.

Considering Rwanda's target to connect 70 per cent of Rwandan homes to electricity by 2017, up from the current 16 percent, any efforts to produce more energy are welcome.

But when it's solar energy, the efforts are more welcome not only because it is among green energies that don't have negative impacts on the environment but also more reliable than hydrothermal energy that relies on water levels because sunshine is a daily treat in every corner of the country.

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