Rwanda Sees Surge In The Adoption Of Renewable Energy .



Despite Rwanda’s abundance of renewable energy resources, the sluggish pace of development is attributed to capital costs and the grid’s low electricity prices. However, installations are gaining momentum driven by increasing energy prices and a growing enthusiasm for collaborative initiatives between companies and the public sector. Diplomatic entities, local authorities, and the private sector actively invest, often in partnership.

With the escalation of energy prices and the diminishing reliability of predominantly fossil-fuel-based sources, the appeal of alternative, efficient, and environmentally friendly energy supplies is on the rise,” stated Gilbert Ntabakirabose, the Kigali-based country representative for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in conversation with pv magazine.

 Engaged in a project to establish feasible renewable energy installations and energy efficiency initiatives, GIZ adopts an approach that entails identifying local companies, evaluating their energy requirements, and presenting business cases to potential German suppliers.

 Under the German Energy Solutions Initiative led by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), the Project Development Programme (PDP) concentrates on nations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Since Rwanda became a target market in 2021, the PDP has actively pursued 52 business leads.

 Presently, the PDP pipeline encompasses 31 active business opportunities within the commerce and industry sectors. GIZ notes that the program primarily engages with enterprises in agricultural product processing and packaging, tourism, hospitality, and healthcare.

 During the pre-development phase, these potential collaborations are anticipated to yield a combined output of around 12.5 MW. The PDP team in Rwanda has pre-developed a 432 kW PV rooftop system for King Faisal Hospital in Kigali, yet, owing to capacity restrictions, only 50 kW was eventually installed.

 Recently, the European Union and Rwanda entered an agreement focusing on sustainable and resilient value chains for critical raw materials.

 The potential is significant, and it’s plausible to anticipate increased investor involvement in the future. “Solar irradiation is substantial, ranging from 4 kWh/m2/day to 6 kWh/m2/day, but widespread adoption is hindered by the considerable initial cost and constraints on high-load usage,” explained Chacha Machera, Sales Manager and Administrative Support for Africa at Amerisolar USA.

 Adaptation of the grid is crucial, and Rwanda stands out as a prime investment destination, boasting an impressive growth rate of 8.2% – the second-highest in the East African Community. This rate is surpassed only by the Democratic Republic of Congo, where growth is predominantly tied to the mining sector, despite its inherent volatility.

 South Sudan experienced the most rapid deterioration in gross domestic product, contracting by 10.8%, with potential spillover effects. World Bank data for 2022 reveals a growth of 1.8% in Burundi and an expansion of 4.8% in Kenya. It’s unsurprising that there are foundations supporting both local entrepreneurs and expatriates interested in participating in this burgeoning market. In addition to investments in logistics and substantial infrastructure projects, such as the new stadium in Kigali, Rwanda is fostering a burgeoning investment community targeting various sectors, including energy.

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