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RBF Window 5 – A new subsidy to enable 370,000 households get solar home systems

The Government of Rwanda (GoR) has set an ambitious target of universal access to electricity by 2024, with 52% of the population to be reached by the grid and 48% of the population by off-grid solutions. 

The gap to achieve the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) target is 1,285,686 connections, comprised of 936,978 connections targeted from Solar Home Systems (SHS) and 348,708 connections targeted from mini-grid systems. Therefore, the annual off-grid connection required from now to 2024 is 321,422 of which new SHS connections required per year is 234,245.

In a move to increase Solar Home System (SHS) installations and electrification of households in rural areas of Rwanda, the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and Rwanda Energy Access and Quality Improvement Project (EAQIP) implemented by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) and Energy Development Corporation Ltd. (EDCL), have launched a Results-based Financing (RBF) subsidy called “RBF Window 5”.

The Subsidy is designed to address the affordability of SHS faced by rural households 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.

The FRW 29.24 billion (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 RBF facility will boost uptake of REF funds thus enabling the project to connect Rwandan households using off-grid solutions. 

The subsidy will be channeled through eligible Off-grid Solar Companies (OSCs) that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EDCL and the supplied SHSs must be meeting the Ministerial Guidelines on Minimum Standards Requirements for Solar Home Systems that was published in June 2019.

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