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Rwanda to promote private sector participation towards stimulation of solar innovations and massive outreach

8 September 2020: Minister of Infrastructure, Honourable. Claver Gatete participated in the Inaugural Virtual Session of the First World Solar Technology Summit hosted by International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi, India.  

The first World Solar Technology Summit aims to focus on state-of-the-art technologies and next-generation technologies that will help boost efforts towards harnessing solar energy more efficiently. Over 26,000 participants from 149 countries across the world participated in this virtual summit

Participants to the Summit discussed ways to drive the necessary growth of solar energy around the world through innovations.

Speaking at the Summit, Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Hon. Claver Gatete point out that the setup of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was a great initiative since it provides platform for fostering innovation through facilitating deployment of solar technologies at scale while promoting Research and Development and enables knowledge exchange between Member Countries.

He cited Rwanda’s recognition on the importance of innovation and novelty to fastening the pace of solar energy deployment.

 “Through our National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), we have set a target of achieving universal access to electricity by 2024. This is planned to be achieved through a combination of on grid and off grid electricity connections at 52% and 48% respectively”, he said.

Minister Gatete told participants that Rwanda has also the Rural Electrification Strategy that sets a framework, which opens a window for the private sector to lead massive off grid electrification of Households that are located away from the grid.

“From the year 2015, 15% of the households countrywide have been connected using standalone solar home systems”, said Minister Gatete.

Speaking on ways to increase service level delivery of Solar Home System, Minister Gatete said “guidelines on solar home systems standards have been put in place”, adding that “guidelines and licensing frameworks for the development of mini grids have also been developed to guide and ease private sector involvement”.

The government of Rwanda put in place financial instruments to accelerate the electrification of more than 400,000 households countrywide.

“The Renewable Energy Fund- (REF) and Result Based Financing (RBF) that aim at ensuring that solar Home systems are accessible and available to all households at affordable rates”, he said. 

The ISA is a treaty-based international inter-governmental alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries collaborating to achieve speed, scale and skills for deploying available solar technologies. This was shared by President Kagame during that the 2018 International Solar Alliance (ISA) Founding Summit in New Delhi – India; Co-hosted by India and France.

Speaking at the founding Summit in March 2018, President Kagame pointed out that solar power is the answer to climate change. “The sunniest countries on Earth should not lack for energy. The fact that they do is an unacceptable irony. It is therefore fitting that more than half of countries that have signed and ratified the International Solar Alliance treaty are African." President Kagame said.

The President added that solar power will not address all of Africa’s energy needs. “What is important is that we continue to work together through this new institution and beyond, to put our collective resources and knowledge at the disposal of our planet’s future

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