14 July 2017

Rwanda: Renewed Drive to Increase Power Generation Capacity

The Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) is promoting a diversified power generation strategy to ease access to electricity and increase the country's generation capacity, Emmanuel Kamanzi, the managing director, has said.

He was, on Wednesday, speaking during the launch of Mobisol's new solar TV that boasts of an inbuilt solar system that can enable lighting of at least one bulb, recharging of any device that uses a USB, including telephones, radios, torches, and also has an aerial and satellite TV receiver, in Kigali

Kamanzi said diversifying power generation would ensure that more Rwandans access on-grid and off-grid power sources.

Presently, 34.5 per cent of Rwandan households are connected to electricity compared to 10.8 per cent about eight years ago. The country's total installed electricity generation capacity is at 208.36MW, and government targets to raise this to 563MW and connected 70 per cent of the population in the medium-term.

Government seeks to increase off-grid power solutions to at least 22 per cent or around 530,000 households in the medium-term through partnership with the private sector. Besides, hydro-power, Rwanda uses thermal, methane, peat, and solar energy, among others.

Kamanzi said the power utility is seeking power generation investors and energy sector-related equipment vendors to deepen access and help bring down prices.

"Though there are already many products on the market, the government is looking to make energy-related equipment easily accessible and affordable for all citizens," he added.

He assured the public of quality, saying Rwanda Standards Board always tests all the products brought on market for quality.

"It is our responsibility as implementers of government programmes to test the standards of all equipment before they are allowed on market. We also look at the cost because we don't want businesses to take advantage of citizens."

Solar energy

Kamanzi also emphasised the role that solar power can play in the rollout of electricity in the country.

"We urge people to embrace the different technologies being introduced in the country as they will help you to improve your standards of living," the EDCL chief executive said.

While speaking at the launch, Frida Wintelmann, the Mobisol business and customer strategy head, said: "We are committed to supporting the government efforts geared at electrifying 70 per cent of the Rwandan households by 2018."

Mobisol, which has been active in the Rwandan market for over three years, has connected close to 21,000 households to power using its solar house systems.


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