In an effort to further boost Rwanda's economy, the Government of Rwanda has committed to 100% electrification by the year 2024.
Rwanda Energy Group (REG) unveiled a new electrification plan, whereby the number of targeted households connected to the grid was increased from 52% to 70% while those to be electrified through off-grid solutions was reduced from 48% to 30%.
Rwanda has made tremendous achievements towards universal electrification. The number of households having access to electricity has sextupled in only 10 years. REG statistics indicated that access to electricity in Rwanda is at estimated at around 68.2% as of January 2022 and the number continues to rise.
Ron Weiss, the Chief Executive Officer of REG, said the plan aims at boosting the country's economy, by creating opportunities for those who need to set up new factories or create new businesses.
"This reviewed plan mainly focuses on areas which have economic activities such as industries, markets and handcraft centers as well as local entities providing basic services such as hospitals, schools, administrative offices and many others. It’s our primary mandate to extend our network to those areas," he said.
Ron Weiss says that other factors based upon when increasing the number of villages to be connected to the grid, include proximity to the existing network, the number of households located in those villages as well as fact that residents are not scattered but rather live in agglomerations.
"When people live in scattered houses, it becomes hard for the Government to provide all necessary infrastructure to everyone. On our case, one pole can electrify 8 houses. But when these houses are scattered, each house needs its own pole, and this increases the cost of electrification.” He added.
Ron says that people living in off-grid areas have the opportunity to get solar home systems at a lower cost.
“The Government has put in place a project to enable poor households located in off-grid areas to afford the prices of solar home systems. The project provides subsidies on the cost of the systems depending on the Ubudehe categories of beneficiaries. Those belonging in the 1st category get a subsidy equaling 90% of the price and only pay 10%, those in the second category get 70% and only pay 30% of the price, while those in the 3rd category get 45% and only pay 55% of the price”.
He said that REG signed a cooperation agreement with solar home systems vending companies which will be distributing the systems under the program.
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