During the financial year 2020/2021, a total of 72,202 households in Rwanda got electricity thanks to solar home systems.
These together with the 178,221 households which were connected to the grid during the last year, increase the current access to electricity in Rwanda to 65% including households connected to the grid and those using off-grid solutions.
In a bid to reach Rwanda’s ambitious target of universal access to electricity by 2024, a new subsidy has been set up to enable poor households located in off-grid areas to afford the prices of solar home systems, through the reduction of prices for the systems at varying amounts allocated to Ubudehe 1, 2, and 3 categories with the aim of reaching the lowest income population in Rwanda.
29.24 billion Rwandan Francs (US$ 30 million) subsidy window is funded by the World Bank and is expected to trigger at least 370,000 off-grid connections. It is expected that this facility will enable the electrification of rural households using off-grid solutions.
James Twesigye, the Head of off grid solutions at Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL) , a subsidiary company of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), said that subsidies will differ depending on the Ubudehe categories and the capacities of the solar home systems.
“We encourage all the people residing in off-grid areas to take advantage of this opportunity and get electricity. They just have to contact solar home systems vending companies operating in their areas and select the systems they need depending on the financial capacity”.
He said that the subsidy program has already started and that REG is currently raising awareness to inform the citizens and encourage them to take advantage of it.
“We are happy of the willingness of citizens to join the program. Already more than 21,000 have benefited from it and we expect to reach to more than 350,000 households in the country”.
He also emphasized on the role of the local government institutions to encourage citizens to take advantage of the subsidy program.
“We’ve already made tours in Districts explaining this to local leaders and seeking their support to raise awareness of citizens on this Government subsidy program to enable every Rwandan get electricity at a low cost”. Said Twesigye.
Statistics indicate that in Rwanda, households which have access to electricity have increased up to 65%, including 47.2% connected to the grid and 17.8 using off-grid solutions.
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